- GOP Sen. Marsha Blackburn defended Neanderthals after Biden called some states’ decisions to lift mask mandates “Neanderthal thinking.”
- “Neanderthals are hunter-gatherers, they’re protectors of their family, they are resilient, they’re resourceful, they tend to their own,” Blackburn said.
- Lawmakers and members of the public mocked Blackburn by pointing out that Neanderthals are extinct.
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Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee defended Neanderthals after President Joe Biden criticized Texas and Mississippi for lifting their mask mandates and called the decision “Neanderthal thinking.”
“I hope everyone’s realized by now these masks make a difference,” Biden told reporters Wednesday. “The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters.”
In a Fox Business interview Thursday morning, Blackburn suggested it was actually a good thing to be called a Neanderthal.
“Neanderthals are hunter-gatherers, they’re protectors of their family, they are resilient, they’re resourceful, they tend to their own,” the GOP senator said. “So, I think Joe Biden needs to rethink what he is saying.”
Shortly after she made the comment, fellow lawmakers and members of the public mocked Blackburn and pointed out that her use of the present tense was incorrect given that Neanderthals are extinct.
—Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 4, 2021
—Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) March 4, 2021
—Susan J. Demas 🏔 (@sjdemas) March 4, 2021
—Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) March 4, 2021
The president on Wednesday emphasized that it was “critical” for officials to “follow the science.”
“Wash your hands — hot water, do it frequently — wear a mask, and stay socially distanced,” he told reporters. “I know you all know that. I wish to heck some of our elected officials knew it.”
States across the country have begun easing their COVID-19 restrictions as the country continues to see a drop in new cases and hospitalizations. Biden also announced earlier this week that Johnson & Johnson is collaborating with rival pharmaceutical giant Merck to expand the production of J&J’s vaccine.
As a result of the partnership, Biden said, the US is on track to have enough vaccine doses for every American adult by the end of May.
Biden added that he hoped the country would be back to normal “by this time next year.” But he stressed that Americans need to “continue to be smart” about following COVID-19 guidelines.