Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas announced Tuesday an end to mandates in the state that put occupancy requirements on businesses and required the wearing of masks amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Abbott made the announcement on the 185th anniversary of Texas Independence Day — a day when the Republic of Texas was formed out of the shadow of Mexico amid the tumultuous and bloody Texas Revolution on March 2, 1836. Texans told those in Mexico City to get lost, and the rest is the proud history that is still a part of the Lone Star spirit.
What sparked the Texan rebellion for freedom this time around? A revolt against scientifically dubious limits on commerce and mandatory mask-wearing — neither of which has worked virtually anywhere throughout the pandemic that began sweeping the globe and led officials to close down much of the U.S. beginning around this time last year.
“It is now time to open Texas 100 percent,” Abbott said while visiting Lubbock in the western part of the state, KCBD-TV reported. “For nearly a half a year, most businesses have been open either 75 percent or 50 percent.”
BREAKING: Governor Greg Abbott has said “it is now time to open Texas 100%”
— FOX 7 Austin (@fox7austin) March 2, 2021
“And during that time, too many Texans have been sidelined from employment opportunities. Too many small business owners have struggled to pay their bills. This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100 percent.”
The end to the mask and business occupancy requirements will begin March 10 — and that’s not a minute too soon for a country that is seeking rational leadership outside of Florida.
While people will still be encouraged to take measures to mitigate the spread of the virus that no mandate could slow down, Abbott made it clear in an executive order it will no longer be the job of the government to tell people what to wear and where to gather.
“Removing state mandates does not end personal responsibility,” he said in a statement. “With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.”
“Today’s announcement doesn’t abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year. Instead, it’s a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety & the safety of others,” the governor added.
Today’s announcement doesn’t abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year. Instead, it’s a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety & the safety of others.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 2, 2021
Arguably, Abbott should have refrained from ordering either mandate in the first place. But he is leading a state that is alarmingly turning a lighter shade of red, and whether people like it or not, the coronavirus pandemic has been as much about politics as it has been about health. You got the feeling Abbott was never too pleased about either mandate. At least now they’ll both soon be history.
The governor had teased big news in a post on Twitter just prior to the announcement of the executive order.
Big announcement in 15 minutes.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 2, 2021
That news, of course, triggered many on the left, a good indication that it was the right decision:
Governor Abbott’s failure to listen to science and medical advice will cost Texans their lives.
This decision is reckless and dangerous—and a desperate distraction from the Governor’s dereliction of duty during the power outages.
He’s putting politics above the people of Texas. pic.twitter.com/dMQI2c0e9K
— Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) March 2, 2021
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich says @GovAbbott decision to lift Texas mask mandate is “mystifying” and “ignorant.”
— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) March 3, 2021
Senior WH Covid-19 adviser Andy Slavitt tells @AriMelber the White House thinks “it’s a mistake” for Texas to drop its mask mandate as coronavirus cases across the state surge. https://t.co/sQm6nbZxlL
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) March 3, 2021
Newsom blasts Abbott for reopening Texas: ‘Absolutely reckless’ https://t.co/uPa3NzSeBx
— Fox News (@FoxNews) March 2, 2021
While the coronavirus still poses a threat to some vulnerable populations, Texans will no longer be influenced by the junk science and political theatrics used to justify telling millions of people how to behave. They will be asked to use their own judgment as they embrace the freedoms many of their ancestors laid down their lives for.
The Lone Star State has faced a different foe this past year than it did in 1836, fighting a politicized disease with a population of roughly 30 million people to look after. On March 2 this year — a day already synonymous with Texans’ freedom — Texas again told people in faraway places to shove it.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden and the entire establishment in media and Washington are receiving the same message that Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna received loud and clear throughout 1836: Texas doesn’t bow to tyrants.
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This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.