Abbott delivered the “exciting news” during a speech to the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, informing the assembled small business and community leaders that the mask mandate – in place since July – was no more.
“We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent,” Abbott said in a statement on Tuesday – Texas’ Independence Day. “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.”
The announcement that businesses would be permitted to operate at full capacity going forward doubtless came as a relief for those establishments struggling to return to full operation in the wake of one of the worst storms in Texas’ history. The snowstorm late last month took out power, heat, and other utilities to over four million Texans, killing dozens.
Abbott was one of the later governors to impose a face covering requirement, waiting until July 2nd to demand residents wear masks and bars close down. Tuesday saw 8,140 new cases of Covid-19 diagnosed in Texas, an average change of 18 percent. There were 129 deaths, also a decrease of 13 percent over two weeks, and some 5,611 people were hospitalized with the virus.
The governor’s view contrasted sharply with that of President Joe Biden, who has so latched on to the idea of masks that he actually planned to send millions of them all around the country. He also expects Americans to remain obediently masked-up through to 2022, and declared the US would have enough Covid-19 vaccines to give everyone a jab by the end of the summer.
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