Austin, Texas – In a climate marked by an accelerated proliferation of COVID-19 infections, Texas Governor Greg Abbott conveyed a decisive message on Thursday through a social media platform known as X—formerly referred to as Twitter—avowing that the Lone Star state will not countenance the imposition of facial mask mandates.
Gov. Abbott tweet was met with critics and support
This unyielding edict was met with a potpourri of reactions, oscillating between fervent acclamation and skeptical critique.
The gubernatorial decree arrives at a juncture when a panoply of organizations and educational institutions across the United States are reverting to the re-enactment of pandemic-induced facial covering protocols in an attempt to mitigate the conflagration of a summer surge.
Several institutions across the nation have already imposed mask mandates
Last week, film conglomerate Lionsgate and healthcare titan Kaiser Permanente re-imposed selective mask requirements for their workforce, as evidenced in an article by The Hill that Governor Abbott retweeted.
There will be NO mask mandates in Texas.https://t.co/qFbfxuenhR
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 25, 2023
Academic institutions such as Rutgers University in New Jersey and Morris Brown College in Georgia have likewise resurrected two-week masking impositions as a precautionary measure.
“Thank you, Gov. Greg Abbott sir, this affirms our decision to flee Seattle last year for the great state of Texas,” X user @donweidner commented on Abbott’s post.
However, not all X users were as enthusiastic about Abbott’s blanket statement on banning mask mandates.
“You already have two schools that had to shut down because of a COVID outbreak,” @soapmaker10 chimed in. “Should be a great school year.”
Data from Metro Health delineates a 142% ascension in COVID-19 cases in Bexar County since June 27. However, within the circumscribed temporal context, a mere sextet of coronavirus-associated hospitalizations have been registered in the city of San Antonio.
In an interview earlier this week, Dr. Jason Bowling, an expert in infectious diseases at University Health, articulated that the peril of grave infection persists at a subdued level. This mitigated risk, he postulates, is attributable to a certain extent of immunity prevalent in the population, engendered either by vaccination endeavors or antecedent exposures to the virus—or a confluence of both vectors.
Dr. Bowling did, however, caution that specific demographics—namely, those who are immunocompromised or above the age of 65—should exercise discretionary judgment in determining the appropriateness of utilizing masks in public settings.
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