Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) reaffirmed Wednesday that he will not implement a new face mask order or force businesses in the Lone Star State to close down due to the spread of the coronavirus, saying “lockdowns are wrong.”
“[Something] that has propelled business operations in Texas for you as well as others across the state is that Texas has remained open for business during the course of the pandemic,” Abbott said at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association’s national convention in Dallas, according to DFW-TV.
“One thing that we know is that safe practices are important,” Abbott added. “That said, one thing that we learned along the way is lockdowns are wrong during the course of a pandemic.”
In addition, Abbott said he would not impose a new face mask order on residents in the state, concluding that “everyone knows what to do.”
“In Texas there will not be any government-imposed shutdowns or mask mandates. Everyone already knows what to do. Everyone can voluntarily implement the mandates that are safest for them, their families, and their businesses,” Abbott said, suggesting that residents in the state should receive the vaccination, adding that it is the “surest” way to end the pandemic. Abbott went on to say:
Going forward we will encourage everyone to implement the safest strategies to make sure that we continue to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19, including the safest thing that could be done is to make sure that everyone who wants one will get a vaccine. The surest way to end the pandemic is for everyone that wants one to make sure they get the vaccine.
Abbott’s remarks come one day after President Joe Biden criticized him and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over their handling of the coronavirus, saying they should not stand in the way of businesses and colleges who wish to impose mandates on patrons and students.
Biden said during a press conference:
Just two states, Florida and Texas, account for one third of all new COVID-19 cases in the entire country. Just two states. Look, we need leadership from everyone. And if some governors aren’t willing to do the right thing to beat this pandemic, then they should allow businesses and universities who want to do the right thing to be able to do it.
“I say to these governors, ’Please, help,'” Biden added. “But if you aren’t going to help, at least get out of the way of the people who are trying to do the right thing. Use your power to save lives.”