White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday defended President Joe Biden for comparing some Republican governors to Neanderthals for lifting their state-wide mask mandates.
“The last thing — the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that, in the meantime, everything is fine, take off your mask,” Biden said when asked about the decisions by the governors of Texas and Mississippi to lift mask mandates on Wednesday.
“How does comparing someone to a Neanderthal help convince them to change course and get on board with your public health message?” asked one reporter during the White House press briefing.
“The behavior of a Neanderthal, just to be very clear,” Psaki replied. “The behavior of.”
Psaki said Biden’s comment was a “reflection of his frustration and exasperation” that Americans were failing to wear masks.
But she blamed former President Donald Trump’s administration for failing to properly educate the country about wearing masks.
“Many times they haven’t had the information they need from the federal government. They haven’t had access to a greater understanding for what the public health guidelines should look like,” she said.