Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick called Joe Biden a 'hypocrite' after the president said that the state lifting its mask mandate equated to 'Neanderthal thinking.'
Biden had said during a COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday that lifting mask restrictions in Mississippi and Texas is 'a big mistake,' The Hill reported.
'I hope everybody's realized by now these masks make a difference,' Biden said.
'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.'
He continued: 'The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything's fine, take off your mask, forget it.'
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, right, slammed Joe Biden, left, as a hypocrite after the president called it 'neanderthal thinking' to remove mask mandates
Migrants cross the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in to U.S Border Patrol agents to request asylum in El Paso, Texas, on Thursday
Administration officials are traveling to the border to provide the president with a briefing on the influx of migrants trying to cross
Patrick criticized Biden on Thursday in an interview with Fox News' show The Faulkner Focus.
'Of course that word 'Neanderthal' would come to the president very quickly because if you look up the definition of it, it says Neanderthals were hunter-gatherers, and of course, that would be the name of his son, who gathers millions for his family from countries around the world,' Patrick said.
He continued: 'How dare him attack Texas for our policies when he is allowing the border to be overrun by people coming here by the hundreds, by the thousands, and testing positive, and coming on a bus to your state wherever you happen to live in the United States of America? What a hypocrite!'
White House spokesperson Vedant Patel said in a statement obtained by The Hill that Biden asked the officials traveling to the border to provide him with a briefing about the government's response to a recent influx of migrants.
'Biden has asked senior members of his team to travel to the border region in order to provide a full briefing to him on the government response to the influx of unaccompanied minors and an assessment of additional steps that can be taken to ensure the safety and care of these children,' Patel said.
The White House did not say which officials would make the voyage or when it would take place, the outlet reported.
Thousands of migrants have been stopped by border agents within the president's first six weeks in office and many of them are unaccompanied minors.
The Biden administration has reopened a Texas facility for young migrants that had been built by the Obama administration and used by the Trump administration.
Officials are reportedly also seeking help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide resources.
The president has refrained from referring to the influx as a crisis, saying: 'We’ll be able to handle it, God willing.'
A hole cut is seen cut into Southern California's border fence with Mexico on Wednesday
A member of the Mexican National Guard patrols the border, in Ciudad Juarez, while migrants are seen along the banks of the Rio Bravo into the United States
Migrants are seen after crossing the Rio Bravo river to turn themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agent
A member of the Mexican National Guard patrols on the banks of the Rio Bravo river as he tries to control the influx of migrants crossing toward the U.S., in Ciudad Juarez on Thursday
Biden administration plans to release migrant families 72 hours after holding them
On Thursday, The New York Times reported that the Biden administration plans to release migrant parents and children within 72 hours of their arrival in the United States.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement will now only detain families long enough to schedule court dates, test for COVID-19 and arrange for their transfer to shelters, the outlet reported.
The new plan would allow for border officials to quickly move families out of the shelters and prevent them trauma from being held in custody for long periods of time, as well as family separations.
Border agents would process and release about 100 families per day from two existing family residential centers in Karnes City and Dilley, Texas - which have a combined capacity of 3,200.
Migrants who test positive for COVID-19 would be detained in isolation for 10 days.
Under existing law, the government already cannot keep migrant children in holding facilities for more than 72 hours, the outlet reported. Migrant children must be transferred to a shelter or released.
The 1997 Flores v. Reno court agreement set nationwide policy that requires the government to release children from immigration detention without unnecessary delay to their adult relatives and while receiving a certain quality of life, CNN reported.
The government also cannot detain kids in any facility for more than 20 days, under the Flores agreement.
According to The New York Times, Biden's new policy mostly pertains to the detention centers where many of them are sent after their initial 72-hour hold.
This week, about 7,700 children taking up nearly all available beds were held in border shelters, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
More than 200 children have been placed in an emergency temporary facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, The New York Times reported.