With other states’ governors and legislatures moving to fully reopen their economies and lift mandates on their citizens, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has yet to provide any indication he will do likewise.
Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he would be lifting the last remaining restrictions on businesses implemented in response to the Chinese coronavirus, including the ability of any locality to fine individuals for not wearing masks. Similar action was taken by Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) on Tuesday, and then Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) announced he would be lifting all capacity limits on bars and restaurants.
Now, Mississippi is becoming the first state to end its statewide mask mandate.
Though he signed an order extending some of his coronavirus mandates, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) declined to extend his executive order mandating mask usage in the Magnolia State, though some of the state’s restrictions will continue. Although Reeves says he believes masks are helpful in stopping the spread of the virus, he doesn’t believe a mandate is necessary.
“There is a difference between being wise and being a government mandate,” Reeves said. “We have to trust the people of this country to look after themselves and to make wise decisions.”
Meanwhile, in Louisiana, the state legislature has begun a 30-day special session, in which they will consider legislation to curtail the governor’s emergency powers and require legislative approval.
But while the domino effect of DeSantis’ leadership continues to cause other states to finally put an end to the shutdowns that have persisted since March, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has given little reason to believe that an end is in sight for the Lone Star State.
Press conferences on potential reopenings have been few and far between since June. Though Abbott had laid out a phased plan for reopening the state in the beginning months of the coronavirus, that has fallen by the wayside.
Instead, the only hint of a possible end from Abbott’s recent press conferences appears to be when a vaccine is available.
A protest has been planned by those frustrated with the seemingly endless string of unilateral executive orders, mandates, and shutdowns. The protest will take place on Saturday, October 10, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the governor’s mansion, located at 1010 Colorado St. in Austin.