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Reeves responds to Biden criticism: 'Mississippians don't need handlers'

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) pushed back on criticism from President BidenJoe Biden28 Senate Democrats sign statement urging Israel-Hamas ceasefire Franklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Schools face new pressures to reopen for in-person learning MORE on Wednesday over his decision to lift coronavirus restrictions in the state, saying “Mississippians don’t need handlers.”

“President Biden said allowing Mississippians to decide how to protect themselves is ‘neanderthal thinking,’” Reeves tweeted on Wednesday. “Mississippians don’t need handlers. As numbers drop, they can assess their choices and listen to experts. I guess I just think we should trust Americans, not insult them.” 

The response comes after Biden earlier in the day escalated his language on Mississippi and Texas's decision to lift all capacity limits on businesses as well as mask mandates. 

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“I think it’s a big mistake,” Biden said, pointing out that widespread vaccinations are on the horizon in a few more months. 

"I hope everybody's realized by now these masks make a difference," he added. "We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way we're able to get vaccines in people's arms."

"The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything's fine, take off your mask, forget it," he continued. "It still matters."

Experts are also warning that the country risks another spike in cases and hospitalizations if restrictions are lifted too soon before vaccinations are more widely available. 

Reeves, though, pointed to ongoing vaccinations as well as recent declines in cases and hospitalizations in the state. 

“Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed,” he tweeted on Tuesday. “It is time!”