Twitter users were quick to pan Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) announcement on Tuesday ending the state’s remaining COVID-19 restrictions, which includes lifting its statewide mask mandate and capacity restrictions on businesses.
In an address to the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, Abbott said that he expects Texans to take it upon themselves to stay safe from the infectious disease that has killed more than 500,000 Americans thus far without a government mandate.
“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 said. “With this executive order, we are ensuring that all businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.”
Abbott pointed to the recoveries from COVID-19 in Texas, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations and “safe practices” as his rationale for why state mandates are no longer needed, despite also acknowledging in his speech that COVID-19 has “not disappeared.”
Much like his speech on Tuesday that called for opening Texas “100 percent,” Abbott echoed the news in a tweet:
I just announced Texas is OPEN 100%.
I also ended the statewide mask mandate.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) March 2, 2021
In short order, Twitter users roasted Abbott for lifting restrictions that were mandated to slow the spread of COVID-19:
A death warrant for Texans.
Add them to the 44,000+ killed as he failed to confront the pandemic & botched the vaccine rollout.
And those who froze to death because he cares more about energy companies’ profits than keeping Texans alive.
Abbott is killing the people of Texas. https://t.co/2idUcqSjJT
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) March 2, 2021
“A lot of people died and had their property destroyed because I care more about rich people making money than the people who elected me but look at this ✨✨GLITTER SPARKLE BOMB✨✨” Distraction: It’s right out of Putin’s Playbook. https://t.co/7l8LSQK0dB
— Rachel Vindman (@natsechobbyist) March 2, 2021
A quick tweet you submit when you finally get your WiFi back.. https://t.co/M33coGDl9D
— Jacob Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) March 2, 2021
In which Texas tries to kill all the poor people, working class people, BIPOC, who survived the Big Freeze. https://t.co/Yaw2luXlN6
— Shailja Patel (@shailjapatel) March 2, 2021
This is madness. And it won't just cost lives in Texas.
It will increase spread to other states through travel. It will make emergence of a new Texas variant more likely. It will further politicize health policy nationally. Total disaster. https://t.co/wZJOvBE3M7
— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) March 2, 2021
7 out of every 8 Texans have not yet received a *single* vaccine dose.
The last time Abbott relaxed restrictions, there was an immediate spike in cases. It seems hard to imagine that won’t happen again—and the impact will fall disproportionately on the working class.
For shame. https://t.co/OceywkKWWN
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) March 2, 2021
So fucking irresponsible. Even if you make a stupid-ass decision like this, at least say "BUT MASK USE IS OF COURSE STILL ENCOURAGED." Be a leader, ya turd. https://t.co/eKLrJSmBCH
— Sam Riegel (@samriegel) March 2, 2021
It appears that masks slow down economic activity, but only in Texas. https://t.co/5cnK7064Hx
— Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) March 2, 2021
this man is going to kill so many essential workers. greg abbott is a monster. https://t.co/CmaQsLX97O
— Vincent Martella (@VinMan17) March 2, 2021
— Hector Oseguera, Esq. (@Oseguera2020) March 2, 2021
Why do “pro-lifers” always want more people to die? https://t.co/HxF9FTu067
— Hemant Mehta (@hemantmehta) March 2, 2021
wait until these guys find out about coronavirus. https://t.co/UoaUfbCaZy
— David Milner (@DaveMilbo) March 2, 2021