Gov. Abbot’s decision to abandon mask and other pandemic restrictions didn’t go unnoticed by the rest of the world, and not in a good way. Up until this Tuesday, the state had reported 2.6 million coronavirus infections and approximately 43,918 deaths, to make matters worse not even 10% of Texans have received the vaccine.
A number of notable state leaders called out Abbot’s decision as irresponsible and precipitated. Former US Representative Beto O’Rourke called the order a death warrant for Texas.
But perhaps Abbot’s harshest critic was President Joe Biden, who referred to the decision as Neanderthal thinking, “I hoped that we would realize by now that masks make a difference,” Biden said. “We are on the cusp of fundamentally being able to change the nature of this disease because of the way we’ve been able to get vaccines in people’s arms … The last thing we need is neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, ‘Everything is fine, (so) take off your mask.’ Forget it. It still matters.”
The Governor’s decision may not only affect the people of Texas but of the entire nation, with so many people traveling and coming in and out of the state, lifting all restrictions could auspicious a new wave of infections across the country.
“This endangers the entire country and beyond. We are in a pandemic. We know that COVID spread isn’t neatly contained by state borders, and explosions in COVID cases can increase the likelihood of new COVID variants to develop or spread to new places. It’s dangerous,” wrote US Representative Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.