As Texas approaches nearly two years under a state of emergency for COVID-19, one lawmaker is calling for an end to the emergency orders that have usurped the normal process of government since then.
On March 13, 2020, Gov. Greg Abbott announced at a press conference in the Capitol that he would be declaring a state of emergency over the coronavirus after 39 cases were reported in the state of Texas.
“Declaring a state of disaster is a key component of these efforts because it allows the state to effectively serve the people of Texas without hindrance or delay,” Abbott said at the time.
But while the original order was set to expire after 30 days, it has been renewed every month since then. That emergency declaration has been the basis of every COVID-related executive order issued since then.
For nearly two years, Texas has been under a declared State of Disaster due to the Covid-19 virus. What started as “15 days to slow the spread,” has turned into 24 months of unprecedented government regulations, a massive transfer of wealth from small businesses to mega-corporations, families separated from loved ones, and fear permeating every thought and action.
As we arrive at this two year anniversary, and while recognizing the harm this disease, like all diseases, can pose to vulnerable populations, I am formally requesting that you immediately rescind all covid-related emergency declarations, orders, and measures – thus ensuring Texas returns to the business that it does best: being a beacon of hope and freedom for the whole world.
Rescinding all COVID emergency orders, however, could potentially subject some Texans to more restrictive measures from local governments. After the state Legislature failed to pass legislation banning business closures, mask mandates, or vaccine mandates, many of Abbott’s most recent orders have sought to prevent those kinds of measures with varying levels of success.
If Texas were to end its COVID state of emergency, it would join 29 other states that have already taken that step. The most recent state to end its emergency order was New Jersey on March 7.
Abbott’s office did not respond to a request for comment as of publishing.