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Today, the Texas government reiterated its newly found disdain for liberty and justice when they proudly announced their vision for re-opening Texas. This is not enough. Texans do not want incremental liberty and freedom. Texans want and deserve liberty and freedom in full.

The appropriate response to the tyranny that has been imposed on Texans should have been the complete re-opening of all commerce. While limiting short-term closures in specific public health regions may be appropriate to ensure hospital capacity, there is no excuse for increasing capacity at retail and restaurant locations to only 75 percent.

Governor, 25 percent tyranny is still tyranny.

The data clearly shows that the pandemic never reached the level at which the draconian mandates were based.

Earlier this week, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania ruled that many of the similar COVID-19 mandates and actions taken in Pennsylvania in response to the crisis were unconstitutional under the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Texas should take note of what Judge Stickman, IV said in his decision:

“But the solution to a national crisis can never be permitted to supersede the commitment to individual liberty that stands as the foundation of the American experiment. The Constitution cannot accept the concept of a ‘new normal’ where the basic liberties of the people can be subordinated to open-ended emergency mitigation measures. Rather, the Constitution sets certain lines that may not be crossed, even in an emergency.”

We need to immediately return to the Texas model and society as it existed on March 1, 2020, without masks and without restrictions. Businesses open without restrictions. Schools open with teachers and students in their classrooms without masks. Churches open without government restrictions.

And, get the Texas government back into the liberty-protecting box in which it belongs!

Since March 13, Texans have been subjected to a series of arbitrary proclamations and executive orders with no scientific basis, restricting the rights and abilities of Texans to congregate, to engage in commerce, to travel, and to associate with family and friends who are in nursing homes.

Restrictions were originally announced as a two-week “pump the brakes” to get a handle on the presumption we were facing a deadly disease with no preventative protocols or treatment options available. Those original presumptions have been proven false, yet we are into month six of the draconian measures that are doing greater harm than the illness itself. Texas has paid more than $30 billion in unemployment benefits, companies have gone out of business, schools have lost track of thousands of students, students have irretrievably lost six months of learning, and mental health issues are on the rise.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have not yet declared there is a “cure” for COVID-19, doctors across the state, and indeed the world, are stepping up with protocols to protect and treat their patients proactively to prevent or intervene early enough to offer protection to their patients. New studies are coming out on a daily basis that show that a new drug or vaccine may not be the silver bullet and not even needed in this case. We already have medications and supplements that have been used safely and effectively for other purposes over the years that are proven to be effective treatments for COVID-19.

The CDC made headlines last week when they released data showing that only 6 percent of COVID-19 deaths consisted of individuals who did not possess other underlying medical conditions. Essentially, this means that the vast majority of COVID-19 deaths, 94 percent, consisted of patients who possessed other “contributing causes.” It should not be news to anyone that we are a nation of obese individuals with heart issues, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other medical issues. Many of our health issues are the consequences of personal choices we make—what we eat, and how much; smoking or vaping; watching TV instead of going for a walk. Those conditions, called co-morbidities, also increase the risk of death if you have the flu or any other medical condition. It is not healthy.

Do not misunderstand what I am saying. COVID-19, especially if you have underlying health issues can be deadly. But so can the ordinary flu and many other infectious diseases. Texans want to engage in everyday activity at their own risk just like they do every day. Driving a vehicle to work on a daily basis increases risk of dying in a car accident. Some people choose to live further away for quality of life purposes, accepting the additional risk as worth the benefit.

We know that COVID-19 is much more deadly for the elderly. The government has decided that visits from family are too high a risk for nursing home patients, resulting in many elderly patients having an increase in dementia and depression. The government has literally sentenced people to die in loneliness and isolation because they have decided they can better determine the risks and benefits than the families of those affected. In many cases, the solution that has been mandated has, in truth, killed those it was purported to protect.

It is past time to return to the principles of life, liberty, individual pursuit of happiness, and personal responsibility to the people. It is time for the government to return to governing and not ruling. It is time to provide truthful and accurate data and information to the people and let them make their own decisions on the risks they are willing to take.

Make your voice heard at the local level by telling the local elected officials closest to you that you want a resolution or declaration passed, so that all Texans may again enjoy their God-given right to live in freedom and no longer be restrained by policies created out of fear.

We have good offensive solutions to combat COVID-19. It is a disease we now know can be treated and managed just like we have done with every other virus. Our hospitals have not become overrun, not everyone is equally threatened with illness or death, and we did not have 750,000 Texans die by August 2020 as predicted. It should be obvious to everyone that it is well past time for Texans to get back to the “old normal” and stop being forced to accept a “new normal.”

It is time to stop the shutdown policies that are doing irreparable damage.

It is time to fully open Texas—now.

This is a commentary submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to [email protected].