Texas Reverses Covid Restrictions, 100% Open
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) this week issued an executive order reversing all COVID restrictions, including lockdowns and mask mandates. The order gives county judges the authority to implement restrictions if hospitalizations exceed 15% of bed capacity for one week. But it makes clear that individuals cannot be jailed for failing to follow local rules.
Businesses such as restaurants and gyms can limit capacity if they choose to do so.
“To be clear, COVID has not, like, suddenly disappeared,” said Abbott. “COVID still exists in Texas, the United States and across the globe, but it is clear from the recoveries, the vaccinations, from the reduced hospitalizations and from the safe practices Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed.”
Abbott also said that anyone who wants a vaccine will be free to get one “within a few months.” As of next week, an estimated seven million COVID vaccinations will have been distributed throughout the Lone Star State.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) celebrated the move as “great news” for the state’s economy.
“Texans are ready to get back to work,” said Cruz. “We can be smart and safe. We can practice social distancing…the answer isn’t to destroy millions of jobs.”
Cruz went on to describe the pandemic’s effect on students and criticized Democratic leaders for keeping schools closed.
“Many kids are six months or a year behind and that educational harm will be with them the rest of their lives,” he said. “It is wrong. You know the Democrats like to say follow the science, they are not following the science. The CDC says send kids back to school [but] you’ve got a whole lot of Democratic politicians that care about that money from the teachers union bosses more than they care about kids.”
Once such politician – California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) – slammed Abbott’s decision to reopen the state as “absolutely reckless.”
The CDC also pushed back against, warning that variants of COVID are spreading throughout the United States. “Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know can stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
Other states to lift COVID restrictions as case numbers drop include: Montana, Iowa, North Dakota, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Michigan, North Carolina, Arkansas, Washington, and Louisiana. Chicago recently announced that sports and performance venues can increase to 50% capacity (up from 40%) and San Francisco has decided to reopen its gyms, museums, and movie theaters with limited capacity.