Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott caught a lot of people by surprise when he announced that he would end the mandatory mask mandate and allow all businesses to reopen at 100% capacity. President Biden, who called for civility and bipartisanship in January, promptly announced that Gov. Abbot was using “Neanderthal thinking” in his decision-making process. Governor Abbott subsequently proceeded to shred the president on Fox News.
“First, it obviously is not the type of thing that the president should be saying,” he said. “But, second, he kind of said it on the worst day he could have, because the same day he said that in Texas, the Biden administration was releasing illegal immigrants into our communities who had COVID.”
Indeed, the Biden Administration isn’t screening undocumented migrants from the southern border before releasing these individuals from migrant centers. This move would likely lead to a rise in COVID cases as COVID-positive individuals are allowed to roam around freely.
More importantly, Gov. Abbot pointed out that the rise in COVID cases in Texas at the beginning of the year came primarily from family gatherings for Christmas and New Year. Most people didn’t get COVID from shopping malls, schools, or churches but rather from family members. Furthermore, the weather is warming up and people are spending more time outside. There is also the fact that, as the New York Times rightly points out, the worst of the pandemic appears to have an end date as a growing number of individuals throughout the nation are getting vaccinated.
Finally, as Governor Abbot pointed out, adults in the state of Texas know how to take care of themselves. They know the proper precautions to take to avoid COVID and many will still take precautions even without state intervention. Many businesses in the state will require patrons to wear masks, as is their prerogative. Restaurants and churches that want to set down rules regarding social distancing are free to do so.
Thanks to Governor Abbott’s decision, small business owners who were shut down by the pandemic can now start the process of rebuilding their livelihoods. People who don’t want to wear masks won’t be forced to wear them. Individuals who want to join fellow believers in church can do so without risking legal problems. Naturally, average people were happy to hear that Texas was now allowing adults the freedom to make their own health choices without government interference.
While liberal politicians are incensed at the idea that Americans can actually make smart health decisions without oversight, the fact remains that the United States is a free nation. Far too many governors took far too much power at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, without regard for the havoc it would wreak on the lives of innocent men, women, and children.
Governor Abbot’s move was the only right one, and his defense of his decision makes it clear that Washington is way out of touch with the needs of the people it professes to care about.