(TEXAS) – Today, Gov. Greg Abbott announced the end of the statewide mask order he enacted last July to slow the spread of COVID-19. This news comes on the heels of the resignation of Abbott’s hand-picked appointee to lead the Public Utility Commission, Chair DeAnn Walker. Walker’s failures during the Texas blackout became evident to all during last week’s hearings in the Texas House.
Texas House Democratic Caucus Chair Chris Turner issued the following statement in response:
“Masks work to slow the spread of COVID-19, plain and simple. The fastest way we can all get back to normal is to listen to the director of the CDC, who just said that ‘now is not the time to relax restrictions.’ If the last year has taught us anything, it is that we need to listen to doctors and scientists more, not less. Unfortunately, Governor Abbott is desperate to distract from his recent failures during the winter storm and is trying to change the subject.”
Last week, questioning by House Democrats in the emergency hearing elicited several damning facts about the governor’s involvement in the energy grid’s failures: he knew about the possibility of blackouts four days before the storm hit, and his appointees at the PUC failed in their responsibility to respond to the crisis.
Although the state’s overall positivity rate has been on the decline, overall trends show COVID-19 numbers are volatile, and key areas of the state are seeing more hospitalizations now than when the mask order was originally put in place.
The Texas House Democratic Caucus, which is composed of all Democrats in the Texas House, serves as the group’s membership services and logistical arm, and works to support House Democrats with communications, policy, and legal resources. Chaired by Rep. Chris Turner (D – Grand Prairie), the Caucus is focused on fighting for real solutions for all Texans.
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