Texas governor Greg Abbott has decided to remove Texas’s mask mandate. The decision came as a shock to many and was met with a lot of criticism. (Photo in public domain)
On Tuesday, March 2, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that he will soon end Texas’s state-wide mask mandate and reopen businesses at full capacity.
The announcement occurred during a Lubbock Chamber of Commerce event where he issued an executive order repealing many of his previous orders relating to Coronavirus.
While Abbott is not completely ignoring the existence of COVID, he does believe Texas no longer has a need for state intervention. “It is clear from the recoveries, from the vaccinations, from the reduced hospitalizations, and from the safe practices that Texans are using, that state mandates are no longer needed,” said Abbott in his announcement.
Abbott also announced that businesses will be able to reopen at 100% capacity as of March 10. A spokesperson confirmed this also includes sports events, concerts, and other large events.
Despite the fact that COVID cases and hospitalizations are dropping across the country, many health professionals and local officials are saying that removing the state mandate is a bad move.
“Please hear me clearly: At this level of cases, with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. These variants are a very real threat to our people and our progress,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters on March 1.
According to CNN, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo also released a statement saying that she disagreed with the Governors decision. She criticized Abbott for removing safety measures just as the country is “inching closer to the finish line of this pandemic.”
“Now is not the time to reverse the gains we’ve worked so hard to achieve,” said Hidalgo.
Since this announcement was made, Texas officially joined 15 other states that are without a statewide mask mandate. Many think removing the state mandate is a bad move, but Governor Abbott seems steadfast in his decision. Now the citizens of Texas just have to hope that a rise in cases will not occur with this change.
Hi! My name is Cassidy and I am a staff writer for The Mycenaean. I am also a member of Book Club and Tech Theatre.