Wide open Texas
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott did Wednesday what many people would like other governors to do. He threw the state wide open by repealing most of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. He said “100% of businesses are open “100 %,” and dropped the requirement for wearing masks.
Did he do it on the recommendation of scientists and health experts? No. Health experts are still saying that wearing face masks is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the virus. Schools are still requiring students to wear masks, and many retail businesses are requiring their customers to wear masks. One police official,Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, worries that this may spark confrontations between mask wearers and anti-maskers.
This decision seems premature. Federal health are warning that while progress is being made in controlling the disease, it is far from over.
There are suggestions that Abbott, who is interested in seeking the presidency himself someday, wants to curry favor with the conservative political base that sees all this COVID-19 business as a plot to assert power over people’s god-given right to do whatever they want, and to plant himself in opposition to President Joe Biden, who called Abbott’s decision “Neanderthal thinking.”
Time will tell if this is a wise decision. Let’s keep an eye on Texas’ COVID-19 infection rates over the next few weeks. We hope Gov. Abbott is not putting his citizens’ health and lives at risk.