Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced that on Tuesday, which happens to be Texas Independence Day, starting next week, all businesses will be able to open "100 percent" and he is ending the state's mask mandate.
NEW: Issuing an executive order to lift the mask mandate and open Texas to 100 percent. pic.twitter.com/P4UywmWeuN— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 2, 2021
With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) March 2, 2021
Gov. Abbott (R-TX) announces all businesses in the state can reopen and ends the statewide mask mandate. pic.twitter.com/3RyGdMVXvD— The Recount (@therecount) March 2, 2021
"With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus. We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent," Abbott said in a statement.
"Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed. Today's announcement does not abandon safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year. Instead, it is a reminder that each person has a role to play in their own personal safety and the safety of others. With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny," he continued.
Abbott's office touted how there have been nearly 5.7 million vaccine shots administered in Texas, and the state is now administering almost one million shots each week, adding about 7 million shots will have been administered in Texas and over half of seniors in Texas will have received a vaccine shot by next Wednesday.
In response to the announcement, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), whose state has some of the strictest lockdown orders, said Abbott's move is "absolutely reckless."
Absolutely reckless. https://t.co/3O5GsbSLpM— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) March 2, 2021