The government’s top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci called the decisions of the Texas and Mississippi governors to end the coronavirus restrictions “inexplicable” and warned that this kind of moves can raise the numbers in cases, according to The Hill.
“What we don’t need right now is another surge, so just pulling back on all of the public health guidelines that we know work, and if you take a look at the curve we know it works, it just is inexplicable why you would want to pull back now,” said Fauci on Wednesday for CNN.
The mask mandates in the states of Texas and Mississippi were lifted earlier this week by governors Greg Abbott and Tate Reeves, and they also lifted the capacity for businesses as well, saying that there was no need for continuing such burdensome restrictive measures and pointing to the ongoing vaccination campaign.
“I understand the need to want to get back to normality, but you’re only going to set yourself back if you just completely push aside the public health guidelines, particularly when we’re dealing with anywhere from 55 to 70,000 infections per day in the United States, that’s a very, very high baseline,” responded Fauci on CNN.
President Joe Biden was also unsatisfied by the two governors, calling their decisions “Neanderthal thinking,” earlier Wednesday.
Gov. Reeves responded to Biden’s criticism, saying in defense of his decision that “Mississippians don’t need handlers.”
He also said that “as numbers drop, they can assess their choices and listen to experts. I guess I just think we should trust Americans, not insult them.”
Given the progress made with the vaccination campaign, experts for public health are urging states to maintain the restrictions just for a little longer, probably to the middle of the spring, when a wider portion of the population will be vaccinated.