President Joe Biden believes states that lifted their COVID-19 restrictions against advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other leading health officials are making a huge mistake.

Earlier this week, states such as Texas and Mississippi announced that they were going to lift their mask mandates and open capacity at businesses back to 100%. “I think it’s a big mistake. Look, I hope everybody’s realized by now, these masks make a difference. We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we’re able to get vaccines in people’s arms,” Biden said.

“The last thing — the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters,” the president added, referencing a card he stores in his pocket with the Coronavirus daily death toll.

President Biden is urging Americans to still follow the CDC’s guidelines, despite what their state officials are saying. “It’s critical — critical, critical, critical — that they follow the science: Wash your hands, hot water, do it frequently. Wear a mask and stay socially distanced. And I know you all know that. I wish the heck some of our elected officials knew it,” he said.

On Tuesday (March 2), Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted a new executive order detailing plans to lift the mask mandate and open the state to “100 percent” by next week.

“With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,” Abbott said. “We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent. Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed.”