Texas Governor Abbott Faces Criticism for Ending Mask Mandate
Texas Governor Greg Abbot ended the mask mandate throughout the state last week, but now he is facing criticism and is forced to defend his decision.
President Joe Biden responded to his decision with harsh opposition.
“We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we’re able to get vaccines in people’s arms,” Biden said.
“The last thing — the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters.”
Abbott did an interview with ABC Houston to defend his choices, saying his decision was “a product of the data we have seen”.
The numbers in Texas are trending downward and Abbott’s administration saw the lowest positive rate since Oct. 2020. He also said that over 50% of Texans over the age of 65 have received the first vaccine shot.
“All the metrics are moving in the right direction,” Abbott said.
“The numbers are adequate for people to be able to go back to work, open up and get back to a sense of normalcy, especially for our kids and schools, while at the same time making sure that people do follow the best practices.”
The governor also said that he is still encouraging Texans to be mindful of the pandemic and stay safe.
San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said the decision was “pretty mystifying” and “ignorant.” Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke said that Abbott “is killing the people of Texas.”