Not on HIS Watch – Governor Vows To Hold The Line

( – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared that mask mandates will never return to the state of Texas amid the resurgence of the coronavirus in several localities across the United States, which led to one South Texas school district canceling classes for the rest of the week. With the recent increase in hospitalization rates, major hospitals in New York and California, schools, and businesses have reintroduced mandatory masking policies. This has prompted speculation that there could be a return to lockdowns. However, no such announcement has been made yet.

As Governor, Abbott has signed numerous measures that have curbed the extent to which public health mandates can go due to his belief that many of the policies previously adopted were not founded in science and would be detrimental to the state of Texas. Previously, he issued an executive order that prevents local governments, schools, and businesses from encroaching on Texans through mask or vaccine mandates.

While the federal government could offer advice for regulations, the United States operates under the federalist system, which is supposed to mean that the administration of public health initiatives (among many other powers) is delegated to state governments. With Abbott at the helm, Texas is unlikely to impose measures that people could perceive as hindering individual liberties.

Democrats have decried these comments in the past as politically motivated, and the state of Texas is continually growing to be politically competitive. In 2024, Texas will hold a Senate election alongside the presidential election, which could be used to give an update as to where the state lies politically. Abbott won against former congressman Beto O’Rourke by over 10 points in 2022. However, in 2024, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) will face re-election in a seat he won by just 2 points in 2018. While the Cook Political Report rates the state as likely Republican, according to FiveThirtyEight aggregates, Cruz leads Allred by about 5–7%. However, several voters remain undecided, which could benefit Democrats if Republicans fail to earn their support.

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