Gov. Abbott Ignores Explicit Instructions From CDC, Opts to Put Texans at Risk

Less than a day after CDC director Rochelle Walensky urged states not to lift COVID-19 restrictions, Texas Governor Greg Abbott decided to ignore science and lift restrictions from his state, putting the lives of millions of Texans at greater risk.

Yesterday, CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned states that now is not the time to lift coronavirus restrictions. 

Axios: “CDC director Rochelle Walensky warned states on Monday that ‘now is not the time’ to lift public health restrictions, as the recent dramatic declines in coronavirus cases and deaths ‘appear to be stalling.’ … ‘With these new statistics, I’m really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19,’ Walenky said at a press briefing. … ‘I understand the temptation to do this. … But we cannot be resigned to 70,000 cases a day, 2,000 daily deaths,’ she continued.”

Yet today, Gov. Abbott not only decided to lift restrictions on all businesses in the state, he also eliminated the statewide mask mandate. 

Texas Tribune’s Patrick Svitek: News — @GovAbbott: ‘Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type are allowed to open 100%.’ ‘Also, I am ending the statewide mask mandate.’

Gov. Abbott’s decision comes a day after the state registered over 8,000 new cases and over 100 deaths, while Houston became the “first city to record every major variant of the novel coronavirus.”

New York Times: “At least 129 new coronavirus deaths and 8,140 new cases were reported in Texas on March 1. Over the past week, there has been an average of 7,693 cases per day”

Houston Chronicle: “Houston is the nation’s first city to record every major variant of the novel coronavirus — many of which are more contagious than the original strain. ‘The numbers of the major variants we have identified in our large sequencing study are disquieting,’ said Dr. James Musser, who leads the team of experts at Houston Methodist Hospital behind the new finding. ‘The genome data indicate that these important variants are now geographically widely distributed in the Houston metropolitan region.’”