Republican Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn put up a defense of literal Neanderthals on Wednesday in response to President Joe Biden’s comments that ending mask mandates is equivalent to “Neanderthal thinking.”
Blackburn appeared on Fox Business’ “Varney & Company” to discuss with host Stuart Varney the decision by some states to end mask mandates and why she believes Biden’s comments on Neanderthals weren’t accurate. (RELATED: ‘What A Uniter’: Josh Hawley Mocks Biden For Calling Mask Repeals ‘Neanderthal Thinking’)
Varney began by playing the video clip of Biden making the Neanderthal comments, and asked Blackburn if Tennessee is “guilty of Neanderthal thinking.”
“Well, Stuart, we were called Neanderthals when I led the fight against the imposition of a state income tax in Tennessee. So, you know what I did? I started the Neanderthal Caucus, because Neanderthals are hunter-gatherers, they’re protectors of their family,” Blackburn responded. “They are resilient. They’re resourceful. They tend to their own. So, I think Joe Biden needs to rethink what he is saying about the states that are choosing to move away from these mask mandates.”
Blackburn went on to say in Tennessee “a lot of people” and “counties” are moving away from mask mandates, adding that the budget is still “in good shape,” “kids are back in school” and “people are going back to work.”
“Those that had been adversely impacted by COVID still need targeted, timely relief. You’ve got communities coming around these individuals, and we are going to lead the way out from this pandemic,” she concluded.
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Republican Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves announced Tuesday they were ending their respective state mask mandates. Biden has advocated for states to continue mask mandates, and even signed his own executive order requiring marks be worn on federal property.
When asked about Biden’s “Neanderthal” comments, White House press secretary Jen Psaki defended the term, describing the remark as “a reflection of his frustration and exasperation.”