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Governor Gregg Abbott has banned any mask mandates, despite the fact that cases and hospitalizations are soaring. What’s the matter with him?
Erica Grieder of the Houston Chronicle wonders about Governor Abbbott’s indifference. Does he want to prolong the pandemic?
We all know that the Lone Star State has experienced some setbacks in dealing with this horrid plague, namely the emergence of the highly transmissible delta variant as the state grapples with lagging vaccination rates. On Wednesday, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis, more than 10,000 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported to the Department of State Health Services — the largest single-day jump since mid-February. And across Texas, 5,662 people were hospitalized.
And here comes Abbott, a Republican, bravely into the breach, responding by…imposing further limits on the capacity of local officials to take action in response to The governor on Thursday issued an executive order barring local governments from imposing mask mandates or the like, even in areas where COVID patients account for 15 percent of hospital capacity over the course of seven straight days. The order also reiterates that cities and counties can’t mandate vaccines, and it bars any public entity or recipient of taxpayer money from asking about a consumer’s vaccination status.
“The new Executive Order emphasizes that the path forward relies on personal responsibility rather than government mandates,” Abbott said in a written statement. “Texans have mastered the safe practices that help to prevent and avoid the spread of COVID-19.”
If that’s the case, why are hospitalizations on the rise?