Gov. Greg Abbott is betting that reopening Texas to full capacity and withdrawing its mask tenure will not reverse the gains that have been made in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
And whatever the outcome, his move will be seen by many as an attempt to consolidate his Republican base, where some leaders have criticized him for ordering mask warrants and being too slow to fully reopen the state.
The move comes as Abbott and other Republican leaders try to bounce back from the state’s disastrous response to the brutal February winter event that left millions without power and water.
The governor’s decision puts him at odds with scientists, including Dr Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who on Monday warned states not to ease restrictions that have helped shift the trajectory of the virus. The numbers of cases, deaths and hospitalizations are all down. And it comes as the nation has three vaccines that are slowly being put into the arms of Americans.
There is still work to be done.
Texas recorded an average of more than 200 deaths last week. And while there is hope from vaccines, less than 7% percent of …
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