Texas Governor Greg Abbott Makes a Huge Mistake Regarding Covid-19 Restrictions

Emily Swindell

In light of the Covid19 rates dropping to an all time low, Texas’ Governor Greg Abbott announced that he would be granting the statewide mask mandate to be lifted as of March 10th. Businesses are also now allowed to operate at full capacity as long as the hospitals in their region haven’t been treating a large abundance of patients for COVID-19. Gov. Abbott announced that he was loosening those restrictions so businesses and families in Texas “have the freedom to determine their own destiny.” A large majority of health officials and citizens disagree with this notion and feel that it’s too soon.

Health officials are still being very adamant on the importance of wearing face masks to contain the spread of the virus, as well as social distancing and hand-washing. “With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,” said Governor Abbott. Several politicians called the executive order dangerous, including President Joe Biden, who said it was a “big mistake” to end the mask mandate. In addition, three out of the four of Abbott’s medical advisers say they were not directly consulted before he lifted the mandate.

Austin, Dallas, and several counties have issued local mask mandates in defiance of Abbott, but are being taken to court by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is trying to challenge their ability to do so. A district judge is allowing these mandates to continue until March 26, when a full decision will be at trial.

Abbott’s main justification for the lift is that the state is in a “completely different position” than it was last year, with better access to testing, greater success rates, more protective equipment and the newly introduced Pfizer/Moderna vaccines. While all of this is true, Texas is still recovering from an extremely harsh blizzard that killed thousands and overwhelmed intensive care units across the state.