Texas, the Place Where Really Bad Ideas Go to Become Public Policy
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has decided to reopen the state and end Covid restrictions such as mask mandates without input from his pandemic medical advisers. His executive order allows businesses, including restaurants, bars, retail stores and sports arenas to operate at 100% capacity. In most parts of the country that would seem like an insanely reckless idea. While Covid cases in the state have declined a bit over the last few weeks, no one believes the danger is past.
Texas Tribune: "I think we at the CDC have been very clear that now is not the time to release all restrictions," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said of the decision."
President Biden called it "Neanderthal thinking," and public health experts have warned of another upsurge because of the growth of more contagious variants of the coronavirus.
Axios: “The U.S. averaged just under 65,000 new cases per day over the past week. That’s essentially unchanged from the week before, ending a six-week streak of double-digit improvements. Although the U.S. has been moving in the right direction, 65,000 cases per day is not a number that indicates the virus is under control. It’s the same caseload the U.S. was seeing last July, at the height of the summer surge in cases and deaths.”...
[The] "risk in Texas is far from over. In fact, its outbreak is growing: New cases in the state rose by 27% over the past week."
WENY News: "Abbott was also met with sharp criticism from Democrats, media outlets and prominent figures in Texas. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, a potential Abbott opponent in the 2022 governor's race, called Abbott's decision "a death warrant" and said the governor "is killing the people of Texas." San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called it "pretty mystifying" and "ignorant." The first sentence in a Fort Worth Business Press editorial said: "It's official: Greg Abbott is a moron."
Gov. Abbott's decision seems like a "feel-good" political calculation meant to appease Texans still fuming about water problems and electrical outages. And "Trumpists" in the state have always opposed pandemic related restrictions. To some of them, rational health related restrictions meant to protect the public seem like onerous burdens on their civil rights.
Tx Sen. John Cornyn: "People in Texas don't really like governments telling them what to do. And I think they've tolerated it for as long as they feel like they had to."
Here's the thing; masks aren't just about protecting you from Covid. It's also about protecting the rest of us from incredibly stupid and selfish people. One would think that Gov. Abbott and the good folks of Texas would get that.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore