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FREEDUMB! Gov. Greg Abbott Dumps Texas Mask Mandate, Reopens State

Gov. Greg Abbott just ensured that more Texans die needlessly – even as the death totals are still being counted from the state’s deadly power outage last month - because freedumb!!!
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President Biden announced Tuesday that the U.S. will have enough vaccines for every American by the end of May. But he also warned that with new variants and other potential setbacks, “We cannot let out guard down now” and “We must remain vigilant.” He urged Americans to continue wearing masks and staying socially distanced.

Almost right on cue, as Nicolle Wallace put it, Abbott decided to endanger his constituents by lifting the statewide mask mandate and allowing all businesses to open at 100% capacity and without masks.

Fortunately, Abbott is getting at least some of the blowback he deserves. NBC News correspondent Morgan Chesky reported that the mayors of almost every major metropolitan area in Texas spoke out against the order. He said the mayors of San Antonio, Houston and Dallas say Abbott made it tougher to enact individual COVID-prevention rules because the order explicitly states that no one can be punished for not wearing one.

“There is definitely a sense of apprehension that with this dual move, the state could be headed in the wrong direction,” Chesky added.

Wallace described Abbott’s move as “a governor in a lot of hot water politically for botching the state's response to a natural disaster, and so he's pulling for the low-hanging fruit, telling people, 'Woo hoo, rip off your mask!' But it seems like that is the wrong move at the wrong time in the wrong state.”

Dr. Kavita Patel said that it doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other and that Abbott’s move needlessly puts people at risk. “You can open businesses safely and still keep cases down, but rather than focus on that and support businesses to do that, he is sending an easy message that sounds popular but is utter chaos on the ground level.”

Not only that but Patel reminded us that the people most at risk are service workers who are likely people of color and not necessarily vaccinated yet.

A recent University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll found that the top concern on Texas voters’ mind during their state’s current legislative session is the pandemic response. A significant plurality say it has been “too little” (32% said it’s “about right” and 12% “too much”).

If Abbott wants to boost his popularity, maybe he should work on saving lives instead of risking them.

Twitter seems to agree.

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