The governor of South Carolina took a victory lap after his gubernatorial colleagues in Texas and Mississippi lifted their mask mandates, touting the fact that his state never had such a mandate.
“Unlike Texas and Mississippi, we cannot lift a mask mandate because we never had one in the first place,” Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted.
“South Carolina took a measured approach and never closed. We gave South Carolinians the freedom to choose for themselves what’s best for their health and family,” McMaster, a Republican, added.
The governor included a video in his tweet, depicting several news reports covering his decision not to issue a mask mandate similar to other states.
“We never closed,” said McMaster in the video. “Our reasonable steps of limited, measured and temporary actions allowed us to combat the virus without crippling our economy.”
McMaster’s victory lap post comes days after Texas and Mississippi announced they would be rolling back mask mandates and reopening their economies.
President Biden attacked the two governors after the announcement, saying the governors’ decisions to lift mask mandates was “Neanderthal thinking.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the president’s comment, saying the quip was a “reflection” of Biden’s “frustration and exasperation.”
The comments drew ire from Republicans, however, with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., firing back on Twitter that the president should “seek training for his unconscious bias” toward Neanderthals.
He also called on Biden to “apologize for his insensitive comments.”
“President Biden’s use of an old stereotype is hurtful to modern Europeans, Asians & Americans who inherit about 2% of their genes from Neanderthal ancestors,” wrote Rubio, who linked out to an article in the tweet.