Local officials respond to governor lifting restrictions

Some lawmakers are convinced, if we have a reopen attitude in Texas, it could have a “disastrous result” and that includes those here at home.
Published: Mar. 5, 2021 at 1:06 AM CST
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott says vaccinations, not statewide COVID mandates, will be what contains the pandemic.

Not all local lawmakers agree.

It’s a decision that has put Texas back into the limelight, Govenor Greg Abbott responding to President Joe Biden, who on Wednesday called the move “neanderthal thinking” and a “big mistake.”

Some lawmakers are convinced, if we have a reopen attitude in Texas, it could have a “disastrous result” and that includes those here at home.

“For a year now, Texans as well as Americans have learned that the safe standard among other things is to wear a mask. Because they know that standard, do they really need the state to tell them what they already know for their own personal behavior.”

Greg Abbott defended his reasoning behind lifting the mask mandates in Texas and reopening business capacity to 100% has opened a Pandora’s box and many are worried about the outcome.

“I do know the governor did issue out that GA 34, where he did issue out recently here in the city, where the health authority... we’re still planning on how it will affect our community and we’re planning on getting guidance with stakeholders on how we can make changes,” said Chief Guillermo Heard.

“I think I understand what he was trying to do- what we need to do as a community is stay strong,” said Judge Tano Tijerina. “Webb County needs to stay strong and I say that because it’s really important for people to understand that we were the last ones, the worst in the nation, the last in the state.”

Texas has fully vaccinated less that 10% of its adult population, but that should accelerate.

Health experts say it’s key to wait for more people to get vaccinated and have a lower number of new coronavirus cases before removing pandemic restrictions.

A reality seemingly in reach, as the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine continues to arrive across the country, but the move in Texas and Mississippi is still dividing parties.

“If we accept the Republican argument that this pandemic is really over, if we accept the argument of the governor of Texas- that was yesterday, we don’t have to worry about it tomorrow- if we take that approach we could have a disastrous result,” said Senator Dick Durbin. “We could be back in trouble again in just a few weeks.”

Abbott is not budging on his position, tying the COVID problem to the new administration and immigration concerns.

“The Biden administration has been releasing immigrants in south Texas that have been exposing texans to COVID. Some of those people have been put on buses, taking that COVID to other states in the United States,” said Abbott. “The Biden administration must stop importing COVID into our country. That is a neanderthal type approach to dealing with the COVID situation.”

The CDC is expected to release guidance soon, outlining safe activities for those who are fully vaccinated.

The agency will continue to ask people to limit small gatherings inside their homes with other fully-vaccinated individuals, as well as wearing masks and maintaining distance in public.

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