North Texas Daily

Greg Abbott fails Texas with lifting of mask mandate

Greg Abbott fails Texas with lifting of mask mandate

Greg Abbott fails Texas with lifting of mask mandate
March 04
09:00 2021

On March 3, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order lifting the mask mandate in Texas that was issued on July 2, 2020. In addition to the lifting of the mask mandate, Abbott is also now allowing all businesses to operate at 100 percent capacity, in comparison to the 50 percent capacity that was implemented in June of 2020.

What Abbott is doing is dangerous for the people of the state he claims to love so much. As of March 2, 2021, there are 2.6 million+ reported cases of COVID-19 in Texas, with 8,140 reported deaths alone on March 1, 2021. There is a sincere lack of critical thinking skills absent from Abbott’s brain as he states in the executive order that “each person has a role to play in their own personal safety and the safety of others. With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.” This is flawed in its forthright as the anti-maskers and COVID-deniers never cared much about protecting themselves, let alone any other person’s safety. Entrusting that everyone will make their own personal decision to “determine their destiny” only means that those same individuals will continue to execute unsafe practices and ignore the necessary standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thankfully, businesses are able to decide for themselves if they want to continue requiring masks and limiting occupancy, but there are a number of other businesses who are already planning to not require masks and to fill to capacity. Denton’s own Fry Street Tavern bar recently tweeted that, “Starting next Wednesday (March 10) all COVID restrictions will be lifted! No masks and full occupancy. Happy Texas Independence Day!” While it is up to the individual business to decide how they want to approach the lifted mandate, knowing there are businesses out there — and ones located right in our very own backyard — is disheartening to learn as it should always be a businesses’ top priority to protect their patrons.

It is becoming evidently clearer that Abbott is using this as a political cop out to keep conservative support. In Feb. 2021, President Joe Biden notched a higher approval rating than Abbott, an almost unprecedented statistic considering the conservative population of Texas. Perhaps Abbott’s increasing disdain for public health and safety regarding the COVID-19 pandemic began to crater Abbott’s approval rating for the very state that he represents. With this new executive order of lifting the mask mandate being a sort of final blow against any proposed concern of public health and safety, it begs the question if Abbott wants to purposely keep sinking his approval rating, or if he is simply doing this so the conservatives who view the pandemic as nothing more than a hoax, will stand by his side, chests puffed out with the labels “ignorant” or “selfish” painted across their mask-less faces.

After the devastating Winter Storm Uri that left millions without power, heat and running water all over Texas, to see a Texas politician jetting off to a resort in sunny Mexico and now to another Texas politician directly put millions of Texan lives in danger by once again diminishing a global pandemic, it certainly puts several perspectives into place on who are leaders are and what they seem to value more than the lives of the people who reside in their state. There can no longer be talk of Abbott being a “lover-of-all-things” Texas as that would include its people and it is increasingly obvious that he does not care at all about any of them.

With no mask mandate and businesses being allowed to run at full capacity, the numbers for reported cases and deaths will only skyrocket. Abbott will have even more blood on his hands, and knowing how he responds to other catastrophes, Texas is going to be in a very dark, very disastrous place for a long time.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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