As states around the country wrestle with how to handle COVID protocols amongst an increasingly vaccinated population, one state is making its stance very clear.
Texas’ Republican Governor Greg Abbott announced an executive order this week creating a statewide ban on government entities requiring masks, including “counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities, or government officials.”
Abbott will likely get the most pushback from teachers and public schools, but so far he has remained firm.
“The Lone Star State continues to defeat COVID-19 through the use of widely-available vaccines, antibody therapeutic drugs, and safe practices utilized by Texans in our communities,” Abbott said. “Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices, which is why masks will not be mandated by public school districts or government entities. We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans’ liberty to choose whether or not they mask up.”
The governor’s office did say some places are exempt from the order, namely “state-supported living centers, government-owned or operated hospitals, Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities, Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities, and county and municipal jails.”
Abbott announced in March the state would lift its mask mandates 100%, amidst much ridicule from the left, but saw cases and deaths continue to decrease. In fact, President Joe Biden called it “neanderthal thinking” after Texas made the announcement earlier this year, but the COVID data since has vindicated the lone star state.
This week, Texas touted zero COVID deaths for the first time in a year.
“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. Today’s announcement does not abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year. Instead, it is a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety and the safety of others. With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.”