Stupid is as stupid does and Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas is right now the poster child. Maybe he’s feeling suicidal because his mishandling of winter storm Uri was so egregious and so he wants to take as many Texans with him as possible. Only he knows, but you’re sure to hear some spin on Fox News tonight. Tuesday afternoon Abbott eliminated the mask mandate in the state and he said that businesses can go ahead and open up 100%. It’s been noted that today is the anniversary of Texas’ declaration of independence from Mexico in 1836. Maybe Abbott thinks he’s Sam Houston, I have no idea. New York Times:
The director of the C.D.C., Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said at a White House virus briefing on Monday that she was “really worried” about the rollbacks of restrictions in some states. She cautioned that with the decline in cases “stalling” and with variants spreading, “we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained.”
And the plateauing case levels “must be taken extremely seriously,” Dr. Walensky warned at a briefing last week. She added: “I know people are tired; they want to get back to life, to normal. But we’re not there yet.”
Though conditions have improved from a huge surge over the holidays, the coronavirus is still spreading rapidly in Texas. The state has been averaging about 7,600 new cases a day recently, a figure that has rebounded after a drop in February when testing was disrupted by a severe winter storm. It is among the top 10 states in recent spread, relative to the size of its population, with a daily average of 27 cases for every 100,000 people, according to a New York Times database.
And Texans are still dying of Covid 19 in significant numbers: The state reported an average of 227 Covid-19 deaths a day over the past week.
It’s speculated that Abbott is caving to pressures from his local GOP.
“Texas will experience more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths,” state Rep. Richard Peña Raymond, a Democrat from the border city of Laredo, told Abbott in a letter Monday.
Laredo, whose population is predominately Latino, has endured some of the worst outbreaks of the pandemic, running out of beds in hospital intensive care units as recently as January. The international trade hub has been among Texas’ most aggressive cities in trying to blunt the spread of the virus, taking measures that have included curfews.
“Elected by the people, your most fundamental obligation is their health and safety. Please do not abrogate your duty,” Raymond said.
I cannot imagine that this is going to end well. I guess we’ll just have to wait and watch.