The Sunday Read: Blue states scramble to loosen restrictions after Red states’ success

(The Center Square) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was broadly chided after he announced March 2 that his state was reopening without restrictions and without a mask mandate.

“I just announced Texas is OPEN 100%. EVERYTHING,” the Republican governor tweeted. “I also ended the statewide mask mandate.”

Later in the day, Mississippi followed Texas. Although the restrictions did not go into effect until the next week, the states and their citizens immediately leaned into the end to the mandated mask requirements and the mitigations. Iowa, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota then followed with the elimination of mask requirements.

Pushback came from all directions after Abbott’s announcement.

“Opening everything to 100 percent while simultaneously nixing our mask mandate is a huge mistake,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, a Democrat, said in a statement.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich called Abbott’s decision “ignorant,” and “really ridiculous.”

Star Trek actor George Takei tweeted, “Make no mistake. Texas and Mississippi opening back up to 100% will disproportionately impact and kill minorities, who comprise much of the essential work force bearing the brunt of this pandemic. This is criminal, a racist death sentence for so many who could have been spared.”

Two weeks later, the data from Texas and Mississippi suggests that neither state is faring worse than states that haven’t yet begun to meaningfully open their states. Comparatively, Texas’ new daily case totals have improved since the reopening.

Per New York Times data, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Texas dropped to 3,420 on March 18 from 7,240 on March 2.

Mississippi’s number increased, but only slightly, to 322 cases on March 18 from 302 on March 2 – far below its COVID apex on Jan. 9, when it reported 3,203 new cases.

State re-openings around the country appear to be pressuring states – particularly northern states with Democratic governors, to soften their stances on mitigations. Now, with vaccines promised to the nation by May 1, governors who had dug in are relenting on mitigations. Some more slowly than others.

In Illinois, where Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker continues to face scrutiny for his handling of state nursing home deaths, an intermediary tier – he called it a “bridge” between Phase 4 (easing of restrictions) and Phase 5 (normalcy) – was announced Thursday. Pritzker, who has operated almost exclusively alone and without contribution from the state’s legislature, has been accused of moving the goalposts several times throughout COVID.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
1 Comment
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mike Smith

It’s all Kabuki theater, folks.

The Democrat-Media Complex (DMC) is trying to cover up the nursing home death scandal until it ‘goes away’.

Hence all the Andrew Cuomo #MeToo headlines. The issue is not the issue. The issue is every distraction from the worst crime committed.

You think the DMC and Democrat state governors actually care about the people?

Last edited 6 months ago by Mike Smith