Before the first lockdown has ended, the second is beginning.
The governor of Texas has ordered that face coverings must be worn in public across most of the state, in a dramatic ramping up of efforts to control a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.
The move marks a major reversal for Republican Greg Abbott, who had pushed Texas’s aggressive reopening of the state economy in May, and had previously said the government could not order individuals to wear masks. His prior virus-related orders had undercut efforts by local governments to enforce mask requirements.
But faced with rising numbers of newly confirmed cases of the Covid-19 virus and a wave of hospitalizations, Abbott changed course with Thursday’s mask order. It requires “all Texans to wear a face covering over the nose and mouth in public spaces in counties with 20 or more positive Covid-19 cases, with few exceptions”.
“We are now at a point where the virus is spreading so fast, there is little margin for error,” Abbott said.
Texas reported 7,915 newly confirmed cases, a slight dip after passing the 8,000 mark for the first time on Wednesday. The 7,382 hospitalizations means the state has more than quadrupled its numbers in that category since the end of May.
The mask order takes effect Friday. Mask order violators can be fined up to $250. There are exceptions for people who have a medical condition or disability, who are exercising outdoors, or who are participating in a religious service or voting. Texas this week began its monthlong early voting period for its primary elections.
Mask orders have become a source of controversy in Texas and elsewhere in the US. Public health experts unanimously agree that masks help slow the spread of Covid-19, but many Americans argue they impair individual freedom.
Abbott also gave mayors and county authorities the ability to ban outdoor gatherings of more than 10 people.
This is why you cannot trust cripples. They fundamentally despise and try to harm people with working legs.
The concept of a “right wing cripple” is ridiculous. A cripple will always push for more state control.
A cripple will never stand up for the rights of the people.