Maskless revelers take to the streets in Mississippi after mask mandate is lifted

Hundred of people took to the streets of Mississippi without a mask in sight on Friday night after the state lifted their COVID 19 restrictions on March 3.

Oxford, home of Ole Miss, saw people out in full force, eating at restaurants and shopping at stores like the coronavirus pandemic was a distant memory – rather than a virus that has killed more than half a million people and infects tens of thousands on a daily basis.

In Florida, Spring Breakers were also abandoning masks as bikini-clad college students flooded onto beaches and crammed into bars in Miami and Fort Lauderdale to kick of their vacation. 

And in Idaho, a group gathered to burn their masks outside of the statehouse in protest of COVID-19 restrictions after other states this week made the decision to ditch mandates and open back up.   

Joe Biden slammed Mississippi and Texas‘ decisions to reopen as ‘Neanderthal thinking’ on Wednesday, warning that big, maskless gatherings would lead to another surge in coronavirus cases and deaths. 

Texas is the largest state to lift their mask mandate, despite the fact that over 42,000 in Texas have died of COVID-19.

However, the president has since been criticized for his comment by conservatives including Montana governor Greg Gianforte who complained Biden was ‘degrading’ himself with ‘name-calling.’   

Meanwhile, revelers across Mississippi seemed unconcerned by the threat of another COVID-19 surge as they packed into busy bars and clubs for the first time in months.

Many people even went shopping without masks, scenes most of the country would view as foreign a year after the pandemic began. 

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MISSISSIPPI: Nobody at this bar on Friday night appeared to be wearing a mask, flaunting the previous restrictions in place

MISSISSIPPI: Nobody at this bar on Friday night appeared to be wearing a mask, flaunting the previous restrictions in place

MISSISSIPPI: Nobody at this bar on Friday night appeared to be wearing a mask, flaunting the previous restrictions in place

MISSISSIPPI: On Friday , Ole Miss students were able to party without restrictions after the state's mask mandate was lifted

MISSISSIPPI: On Friday , Ole Miss students were able to party without restrictions after the state's mask mandate was lifted

MISSISSIPPI: On Friday , Ole Miss students were able to party without restrictions after the state’s mask mandate was lifted

IDAHO: A protester tosses a surgical mask into the fire during a mask burning event at the Idaho Statehouse on Saturday

IDAHO: A protester tosses a surgical mask into the fire during a mask burning event at the Idaho Statehouse on Saturday

IDAHO: A protester tosses a surgical mask into the fire during a mask burning event at the Idaho Statehouse on Saturday

FLORIDA: Corey Falcon, of Baltimore, lifts two women off the ground outside Cafe Ibiza in Fort Lauderdale

FLORIDA: Corey Falcon, of Baltimore, lifts two women off the ground outside Cafe Ibiza in Fort Lauderdale

FLORIDA: Corey Falcon, of Baltimore, lifts two women off the ground outside Cafe Ibiza in Fort Lauderdale

FLORIDA: Afternoon partiers crowd into Cafe Ibiza in Ft. Lauderdale on the first weekend of Spring Break

FLORIDA: Afternoon partiers crowd into Cafe Ibiza in Ft. Lauderdale on the first weekend of Spring Break

FLORIDA: Afternoon partiers crowd into Cafe Ibiza in Ft. Lauderdale on the first weekend of Spring Break

MISSISSIPPI: One person in this photo decided a mask was a good idea, but everyone else was ready to party without one

MISSISSIPPI: One person in this photo decided a mask was a good idea, but everyone else was ready to party without one

MISSISSIPPI: One person in this photo decided a mask was a good idea, but everyone else was ready to party without one

MISSISSIPPI: On Thursday, college students at Ole Miss were having a good time on the second night without maskS

MISSISSIPPI: On Thursday, college students at Ole Miss were having a good time on the second night without maskS

MISSISSIPPI: On Thursday, college students at Ole Miss were having a good time on the second night without maskS

FLORIDA: College students celebrate the first weekened of Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday

FLORIDA: College students celebrate the first weekened of Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday

FLORIDA: College students celebrate the first weekened of Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday

FLORIDA: Maskless college students strolling in Fort Lauderdale on the first weekend on Spring Break

FLORIDA: Maskless college students strolling in Fort Lauderdale on the first weekend on Spring Break

FLORIDA: Maskless college students strolling in Fort Lauderdale on the first weekend on Spring Break

IDAHO: A child tosses a surgical mask into a fire during a mask burning event at the Idaho Statehouse on Saturday

IDAHO: A child tosses a surgical mask into a fire during a mask burning event at the Idaho Statehouse on Saturday

IDAHO: A child tosses a surgical mask into a fire during a mask burning event at the Idaho Statehouse on Saturday

IDAHO: A counter protester walks through an unmasked crowd during a mask burning event at the Idaho Statehouse

IDAHO: A counter protester walks through an unmasked crowd during a mask burning event at the Idaho Statehouse

IDAHO: A counter protester walks through an unmasked crowd during a mask burning event at the Idaho Statehouse

In total, there have been at least 296,000 COVID-19 cases and 6,783 deaths in Mississippi since the onset of the pandemic.

On Friday, Mississippi reported 576 new cases and 22 new deaths.

Mississippi will maintain their 50 percent capacity restriction on indoor arenas and keep their current rules in place for K-12 schools.  

Montana has also rescinded their mask mandate via a directive issued on February 12, while simultaneously encouraging residents to continue wearing masks and making responsible decisions.

Gov. Gianforte argued on Fox & Friends that a ‘one-size-fits-all’ mandate doesn’t make sense, which is likely why he repealed it for his state.

Cases have been declining in Montana, with just 143 new cases reported on Friday. Hospitalizations are also low in the state, with just 63 people actively hospitalized headed into the weekend.

MISSISSIPPI: The mask mandate was lifted in Mississippi on March 3, so March 5 was the first Friday night full of partying

MISSISSIPPI: The mask mandate was lifted in Mississippi on March 3, so March 5 was the first Friday night full of partying

MISSISSIPPI: The mask mandate was lifted in Mississippi on March 3, so March 5 was the first Friday night full of partying

MISSISSIPPI: People took to the streets of Mississippi without a mask in sight on Friday night

MISSISSIPPI: People took to the streets of Mississippi without a mask in sight on Friday night

MISSISSIPPI: People took to the streets of Mississippi without a mask in sight on Friday night

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi went to lunch inside on Friday afternoon, with only servers typically wearing mask

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi went to lunch inside on Friday afternoon, with only servers typically wearing mask

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi went to lunch inside on Friday afternoon, with only servers typically wearing mask

MISSISSIPPI: Some in Oxford are continuing to wear masks, despite the mask restrictions being lifted in Mississippi

MISSISSIPPI: Some in Oxford are continuing to wear masks, despite the mask restrictions being lifted in Mississippi

MISSISSIPPI: Some in Oxford are continuing to wear masks, despite the mask restrictions being lifted in Mississippi

TEXAS: Pictured, people in Austin, Texas exit a bar on Thursday night, with some still choosing to wear a mask

TEXAS: Pictured, people in Austin, Texas exit a bar on Thursday night, with some still choosing to wear a mask

TEXAS: Pictured, people in Austin, Texas exit a bar on Thursday night, with some still choosing to wear a mask

Biden had pleaded with states to keep restrictions until America could achieve heard immunity.

‘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.

‘The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it.’

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Police at the ready in Oxford, Mississippi with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Police at the ready in Oxford, Mississippi with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Police at the ready in Oxford, Mississippi with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi headed to the club with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi headed to the club with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi headed to the club with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out at the bar two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out at the bar two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out at the bar two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: A kid in Oxford gets a view inside of a bar two days after restrictions were lifted in Mississippi

MISSISSIPPI: A kid in Oxford gets a view inside of a bar two days after restrictions were lifted in Mississippi

MISSISSIPPI: A kid in Oxford gets a view inside of a bar two days after restrictions were lifted in Mississippi

Earlier this week, Gov. Gianforte tweeted in response to Biden, saying ‘If making data-driven decisions to reopen, loving freedom, and trying to get back to normal is what a Neanderthal would do, then well, I guess you can count me as one.’ 

During his interview with Doocy, Gov. Gianforte expressed his excitement about the direction of his state: ‘Montana is open for business, we’re getting back to normal.’

He admitted, however, that the state is ‘not out of the woods yet.’

MISSISSIPPI: Grocery shopping can take place without masks in the state of Mississippi with the pandemic restrictions lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Grocery shopping can take place without masks in the state of Mississippi with the pandemic restrictions lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Grocery shopping can take place without masks in the state of Mississippi with the pandemic restrictions lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Hand sanitizer is available for diners in Mississippi, but people are eating indoors without wearing masks

MISSISSIPPI: Hand sanitizer is available for diners in Mississippi, but people are eating indoors without wearing masks

MISSISSIPPI: Hand sanitizer is available for diners in Mississippi, but people are eating indoors without wearing masks

MISSISSIPPI: This man is wearing a mask while he shops, but the same cannot be said about his dog, Gigi

MISSISSIPPI: This man is wearing a mask while he shops, but the same cannot be said about his dog, Gigi

MISSISSIPPI: This man is wearing a mask while he shops, but the same cannot be said about his dog, Gigi

Gov. Gianforte called out Joe Biden on Fox & Friends for his 'Neanderthal thinking' comment earlier in the week

Gov. Gianforte called out Joe Biden on Fox & Friends for his 'Neanderthal thinking' comment earlier in the week

Gov. Gianforte called out Joe Biden on Fox & Friends for his ‘Neanderthal thinking’ comment earlier in the week

Joe Biden said it was 'Neanderthal thinking' to have states drop their mask mandates, which Texas and Mississippi have done

Joe Biden said it was 'Neanderthal thinking' to have states drop their mask mandates, which Texas and Mississippi have done

Joe Biden said it was ‘Neanderthal thinking’ to have states drop their mask mandates, which Texas and Mississippi have done

In total, Montana has had 100,842 cases of COVID-19, with 1,381 people dying from the virus.

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered in Montana so far, with 112,111 people fully immunized.

Gov. Gianforte is far from the first Republican politician to call out Biden for his ‘Neanderthal’ comment.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called Biden a ‘hypocrite’ in an interview with Fox News on Thursday.

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out with few masks in sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi, many college students, enjoying a night out with few masks in sight

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi, many college students, enjoying a night out with few masks in sight

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi, many college students, enjoying a night out with few masks in sight 

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi walk by a police vehicle sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi walk by a police vehicle sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: People in Oxford, Mississippi walk by a police vehicle sight two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI:: Diners in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night at the Graduate Hotel two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI:: Diners in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night at the Graduate Hotel two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI:: Diners in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night at the Graduate Hotel two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Diners in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night at the Graduate Hotel two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Diners in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night at the Graduate Hotel two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Diners in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night at the Graduate Hotel two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI:People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI:People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI:People in Oxford, Mississippi enjoying a night out two days after restrictions were lifted

Fox News reports Florida Sen. Marco Rubio suggested Biden ‘seek training on the unconscious bias.’

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Biden only made his comments out of ‘frustration and exasperation.’

Signs of progress in the fight against COVID-19 are evident, especially with a third vaccine being distributed across the nation.

The easing of pandemic restrictions and mask mandates could have a negative effect on the progress, though. 

In the United States, there have been 28,890,034 cases and 522,761 COVID-19 deaths. 

MISSISSIPPI: Shoppers in Oxford, Mississippi walking around the grocery store two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Shoppers in Oxford, Mississippi walking around the grocery store two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Shoppers in Oxford, Mississippi walking around the grocery store two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Shopper in Oxford, Mississippi walking around the grocery store two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Shopper in Oxford, Mississippi walking around the grocery store two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Shopper in Oxford, Mississippi walking around the grocery store two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Shopper in Oxford, Mississippi walking around the grocery store two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Shopper in Oxford, Mississippi walking around the grocery store two days after restrictions were lifted

MISSISSIPPI: Shopper in Oxford, Mississippi walking around the grocery store two days after restrictions were lifted

TEXAS: With the mask mandate set to end in Texas in the coming days, people have had no issue going out without one

TEXAS: With the mask mandate set to end in Texas in the coming days, people have had no issue going out without one

TEXAS: With the mask mandate set to end in Texas in the coming days, people have had no issue going out without one

TEXAS: On Thursday night, some people were lined up just to get into clubs, though many were still wearing masks

TEXAS: On Thursday night, some people were lined up just to get into clubs, though many were still wearing masks

TEXAS: On Thursday night, some people were lined up just to get into clubs, though many were still wearing masks

MISSISSIPPI: At Larsons Cashsaver, many were shopping without masks, unheard of across much of the country this year

MISSISSIPPI: At Larsons Cashsaver, many were shopping without masks, unheard of across much of the country this year

MISSISSIPPI: At Larsons Cashsaver, many were shopping without masks, unheard of across much of the country this year

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