Texas and other states ease COVID-19 rules despite warnings
Texas has become the biggest state to lift its mask rule, joining a rapidly growing movement by governors and other leaders across the U.S. to loosen COVID-19 restrictions despite alarmed pleas from health officials not to let down their guard yet.
The governors of Michigan and Louisiana likewise announced they are easing up on bars, restaurants and other businesses Tuesday, as did the mayor of San Francisco.
“Removing statewide mandates does not end personal responsibility,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott, “It’s just that now state mandates are no longer needed.”
U.S. cases have plunged more than 70% over the past two months from an average of nearly 250,000 new infections a day, while average deaths per day have plummeted about 40% since mid-January. But the two curves have leveled off abruptly in the past several days and have even risen slightly.
Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said he is getting rid of most mask mandates and lifting most other restrictions, including limits on seating in restaurants, starting Wednesday.
“The governor’s office is getting out of the business of telling people what they can and cannot do,” the Republican said.