Texas lifts mask mandate despite COVID warnings

Tanya Simon
March 4, 2021

Now, we are putting our focus towards rapid vaccine distribution.

Yet the wave of reopenings has put states at odds with the Biden administration and its senior health officials, who have reacted with dismay to the relaxation of coronavirus measures at a precarious time in the pandemic.

"It's a big mistake", Biden said of announcements Tuesday by Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves that they would no longer require residents of their states to wear masks in public.

But in the White House, he told reporters that this is no time to relax. But he hit back at Biden for "recklessly endangering lives of Texans", referring to a report that in recent weeks, federal authorities released more than 100 migrants in Brownsville who later tested positive for covid-19 at the city's bus station.

The Texas and MS decisions were "a big mistake", he said.

"The last thing we need is the Neanderthal thinking that, in the meantime, everything is fine, take off our mask, forget it", he added.

On the one hand, cases in the country are leveling off at rates - at rates just on the cusp of potential to resurge.

"We have to have instant gratification and act like the pandemic is over?"

On the other side of the world, Brazil reported a second straight day of record Covid-19 deaths, bringing the total to more than 259,000.

The state's Republican leadership favoured former President Donald Trump's relatively relaxed approach to imposing restrictions.

Congress reacts to USA airstrikes in Syria defensenews.com
He was killed in a USA drone strike just as he arrived in Baghdad for meetings with top Iraqi officials. He questioned President Joe Biden's authority to approve the airstrike.

"We can see conflict coming, sadly", Acevedo said.

"Sao Paulo and Brazil are on the brink of a health system collapse". Incidents over face coverings have piled up across the country, and there's been at least one death over mask enforcement when a guard was shot and killed in a dispute at a Family Dollar in Flint, Michigan, last year.

"This is your fault".

"The fact that things are headed in the right direction doesn't mean we have succeeded in eradicating the risk", said Dr Lauren Ancel Meyers, a professor of integrative biology and director of the University of Texas COVID-19 Modeling Consortium, was quoted as saying by AP.

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic launched new mass testing at private companies to try and control soaring infection rates. "We're asking people to listen to health and medical experts, the CDC, to Dr. Fauci".

The government is in talks to receive assistance from other European countries including Germany, Poland and Switzerland, which have all offered hospital beds.

The governor said he was able to lift the restrictions because Texas, the third most-populous USA state, had administered almost 5.7 million vaccine shots to its 29 million residents.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday said he would revoke Texas' statewide mask mandate, leaving many students anxious for the state of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health experts have stressed that it is too soon to end mask mandates and fully open businesses, and this could lead to a surge in new cases, especially as variants that are more contagious are spreading.

In Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said that effective immediately, bars, restaurants and other businesses can increase indoor capacity to 50% and remain open until 1 a.m.

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