Gov. Abbott’s executive order says local governments in Texas must remove the mandatory requirement to wear masks by May 12, and schools must also remove the requirement by June 4. A news release from the governor’s office said local governments could face fines of up to $1,000 if they don’t comply with the executive order.
The Republican governor said at a news conference, “The Lone Star State continues to defeat COVID-19 (the Chinese Communist virus) through the widespread use of vaccines, antibody-based therapeutic drugs and the safety measures Texans have implemented in our communities.” “It should be up to Texans, not the federal government, to determine their best health measures, which is why public school districts, or government agencies, should not mandate the wearing of masks.”
In a tweet, Abbott said it should be up to Texans (not the government) to “determine their best health measures.”
Abbott said on May 16 that this is the first time Texas has recorded zero deaths from COVID-19 (the Chinese communist virus) since tracking outbreak data. He also noted that the state reported the lowest number of cases of CCLV infection in more than 13 months and the lowest number of hospitalizations in 11 months.
This comes after Democratic lawmakers and President Joe Biden lashed out at the governor when he announced on March 2 that the state would lift its statewide masking order, predicting that the number of C.C.V. infections in the state would rise.
Abbott explained on Tuesday that Texans “can continue to mitigate the COVID-19 outbreak while defending Texans’ freedom to choose whether to wear masks themselves.”
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said last week that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors in most cases. Walensky later told the news media that she believes children who cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 (the Chinese Communist virus) should wear masks indoors.
The school system was allowed to keep its own mask-wearing policy after Abbott lifted the statewide mask-wearing requirement in March of this year. But Tuesday’s order states, “Students, teachers, parents or other staff or visitors shall not be mandated to wear masks.”
A study in the Lancet in March found that children “remain at low risk of death from COVID-19 (Chinese Communist virus) infection.”
In recent months, some Republican-led states have either relaxed mandatory mask restrictions, banned so-called “vaccine passport” systems, or lifted local emergency restrictions on outbreaks.