Gov. Abbott’s New Executive Order is Latest Step in Unmasking Texas
Texas Governor Greg Abbott's new executive order prevents government entities in Texas from requiring or mandating mask wearing. That includes public schools.
The executive order is scheduled to take effect on May 21st, but public schools will be allowed to continue their current mask policies through June 4th.
Gov. Abbott wrote in a press release, "The Lone Star State continues to defeat COVID-19 through the use of widely-available vaccines, antibody therapeutic drugs, and safe practices utilized by Texans in our communities. Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices, which is why masks will not be mandated by public school districts or government entities. We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans' liberty to choose whether or not they mask up."
Additionally, as of May 21, any government entity or government official violating the executive order could face a fine up to $1,000.
According to NBCDFW, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says Abbott's order stands opposite of what the CDC is recommending.
"Unfortunately, the governor has passed an order prohibiting local governments from requiring unvaccinated people to wear a mask in government buildings," Judge Jenkins said. "The CDC is clear that unvaccinated people should still wear a mask indoors when not in their home. The governor’s order deviates from that recommendation. We do well when leaders follow the science and poorly when they do not.”
There are a few exemptions to the new executive order including, state-supported living centers, government-owned or operated hospitals, Texas Department of Criminal Justice facilities, Texas Juvenile Justice Department facilities, and county and municipal jails.
This new executive order comes as no surprise, as Texas seems to always be one step ahead of the CDC.