Americans are buckling up for a major battle over vaccine and mask requirements.
One state, however, says it intends to make its own rules.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has now made clear he will not require masks, despite the Center for Disease Control’s recent recommendations.
“Today’s executive order will provide clarity and uniformity in the Lone Star State’s continued fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Abbott.
“The new Executive Order emphasizes that the path forward relies on personal responsibility rather than government mandates. Texans have mastered the safe practices that help to prevent and avoid the spread of COVID-19. They have the individual right and responsibility to decide for themselves and their children whether they will wear masks, open their businesses, and engage in leisure activities. Vaccines, which remain in abundant supply, are the most effective defense against the virus, and they will always remain voluntary – never forced – in the State of Texas.”
The governor issued an executive order in May “prohibiting governmental entities in Texas — including counties, cities, school districts, public health authorities, or government officials — from requiring or mandating mask wearing.”
As of now, the spirit of that order still stands.
“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,” said Governor Abbott. “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 point out that some places are exempt from the rule, including “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.”