Texas Gov. Greg Abbott officially lifted the mandatory mask mandate on March 10. Two weeks later, the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have decreased by 21 percent. The rolling average number of daily new cases decreased by almost 2,199 over the past two weeks, a 36 percent drop.
Upon hearing Abbott’s announcement on March 2, Democrats and corporate media warned that death and destruction were imminent. Anthony Fauci called the decision “inexplicable.” President Joe Biden called it “Neanderthal thinking.” Failed Senate and presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke called it a “death warrant for Texans.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said it was “absolutely reckless.”
Two weeks ago, Texans were sneering at each other on social media, shaming their neighbors into wearing masks “until we get this thing under control” — referring to a timeline that is wholly unknown and undefined. Without a mask mandate, people will die, they said, without any data to prove this claim.
When Abbott issued the mask mandate in July last year, the reasoning was the need to “flatten the curve” and to prevent our hospitals from overflowing. As I argued two weeks ago, we’ve done that. Twice. So if now is not the time to lift mask mandates, then when?
Is it when the entire country is vaccinated? Half the population? That will take years. When we “flatten the curve”? We’ve done that twice now in Texas. When we prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed? We’ve done that twice now too. The pop-up hospital at Dallas’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center was never used. Maybe when the CDC says everything is OK? The CDC advises you to not eat raw cookie dough or rare steak, as Robby Soave points out.
Now the data is in, and so far, fewer Texans are dying of COVID than were two weeks ago.
Correlation is still not causation. This is not to argue masks do or don’t work, but rather it’s to reiterate that mask tyrants and politicians drunk on emergency powers do not care about science or data, or even flat curves and ICU beds. Their arguments are based on fear and control.