Even as the United States is witnessing a dangerous surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, Texas Governor Greg Abbott is not ready to lift his ban on mask mandates. Speaking at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association’s National Convention held in Dallas on Wednesday, he said that “lockdowns are wrong during a pandemic.”
Abbott pointed out that the non-placement of lockdowns in Texas enabled the hotel owners to continue their operations because the state has remained open during the pandemic.
The governor went on to say that he knows that safe practices are important, but lockdowns are wrong.
“Going forward we will encourage everyone to implement the safest strategies to make sure that we continue to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19 including the safest thing that could be done is to make sure that everyone who wants one will get a vaccine. The surest way to end the pandemic is for everyone that wants one to make sure they get the vaccine,” he said. With this statement, it is clear that Abbott will still not give mandates for vaccinations.
He also reiterated that there would be no government-imposed shutdowns or mask mandates. He reiterated that he is leaving that responsibility to everyone to voluntarily implement their mandates so that they and their families and businesses remain safe.
His latest remarks came a day after President Joe Biden criticized him and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for putting mask mandate bans in place. The president said that Florida and Texas already account for one-third of all the new COVID-19 cases in the country. He then told the governors of such states to help, but in case they don’t want to, then they should get out of the way of people who are trying to do the “right thing.”
At the event that Abbott attended, many reportedly wore masks, but many did not. One hotel owner said that he is happy that Abbott will not put lockdowns in place because it is the only reason why their business “is going to go up.”