When Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) announced earlier this month that he was opening his state up to 100 percent capacity and rescinding mask mandates, the left freaked out over this display of urging personal responsibility. President Joe Biden even targeted Abbott for his "Neanderthal thinking," while then going on to tout a show of unity in his March 11 address before the nation, saying that his administration was "working with...red and blue states."
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
Abbott himself acknowledged, with added emphasis, in his statement which in part read:
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.
Abbott's statement also referenced Texas being at its lowest cases. The number of cases continues to drop too. U.S. News & World Report has continuously covered a decline in cases in Texas, using updates from Johns Hopkins. There was an increase in cases from Friday, March 13 to Saturday, March 14, but follow-up coverage from March 16 and March 18 pointed to a trending decline.
"Even so, the rolling average of new cases reported in Texas over the past two weeks has fallen by 3,078 per day, a 39.7% decrease, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers," reporting from March 16 mentions, with regards to the amount of cases in Texas being above 4,000.
"The researchers also said the rolling average of daily new cases has fallen by 2,695 cases over the past two weeks, a 37% decrease," it was reported on March 18.
While the March 14 headline from The Dallas Morning News of "Texas reports more than 2,300 new COVID-19 cases as Tarrant County adds 22 deaths" emphasizes cases and deaths, the subheadline still acknowledges that "state cases and deaths have declined in the last two weeks." It's also mentioned that:
The seven-day rolling averages of new cases and deaths in Texas have declined during the last two weeks as of Saturday, according to the Johns Hopkins data.
The average number of new cases dropped from 7,964 daily on Feb. 25 to 4,648 on March 11, while the average number of deaths fell from 220.6 to 168.9 per day during the same period.
That article may have fixated on how Texas has the third-highest amount of deaths, but it is key to point out that it is the second most populated state in the country. California has experienced the most deaths, while New York has experienced the second most deaths. All three states are among the most populated states in the country, though California, under Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is facing a recall effort and who had a meltdown over Abbott's announcement, has had the strictest lockdowns.
Again, it's worth emphasizing that the virus isn't over. Show me where Abbott claimed it was. We're making progress, though. People are getting vaccines and cases are declining, including in Texas. Let's embrace that and act like it.
The original stated goal in mind was to flatten the curve, after all. Right?