Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday that the statewide mask mandate and all restrictions on business’ operating capacity would be lifted this coming week. The following day, President Biden called these decisions “Neanderthal thinking.”
In making his announcement, Abbott focused on the fact that Texans have mastered individual habits and practices to mitigate against the risks of contracting the coronavirus. In addition, the state has already protected a majority of its most vulnerable citizens. Any seniors not already vaccinated will have access to one by the end of March, and Texas now has therapeutic drugs that are mitigating the risk of pandemic deaths and hospitalization. At its core, this decision is about personal responsibility and the importance of letting residents weigh health risks against the other risks inherent to their lives. Biden’s response was sadly predictable.
By: Nicholas Kerr, LSPI adjunct scholar