Politics West Virginia Guv Slams Texas Reopening as Performative ‘Macho Thing’

23:43  04 march  2021
23:43  04 march  2021 Source:   thedailybeast.com

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he planned to end the state’s mask mandate and allow all businesses to fully reopen , ignoring the pleas of local officials and the state’s slow vaccination rollout. As the nation’s second largest state, Texas may become the first domino in a series of reopenings that go against the advice of public health experts. Shortly after Abbott’s announcement on Tuesday, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a fellow Republican, announced his state would follow suit in fully reopening and rescinding mask mandates.

While Texas and Mississippi announced complete rollbacks of their states' COVID-19 mitigation measures this week, several governors of other Republican states have made clear they are not abandoning their mask mandates despite political pressure. The sharp decline of new daily COVID-19 cases and the rollout of vaccines in the United States have prompted state and local governments to ease Stocks dipped Wednesday, extending losses from a day earlier as investors weighed optimism over widespread post-pandemic business reopenings against concerns over economic overheating.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice on Thursday slammed his fellow Republican governors in Texas and Mississippi for rushing to reopen their states and lift mask mandates amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, describing their actions as a performative “macho thing.”

Jim Justice holding a sign: CNN © Provided by The Daily Beast CNN

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, reeling from criticism over his handling of the winter storm that left millions in his state without power and water, announced earlier this week that he was reopening the state “100 percent” and reversing mask requirements, despite all known variants of COVID-19 currently circulating in the Lone Star State.

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Texas and Mississippi governors announced mask mandates will be lifted. “Quite frankly, to put it in very stark terms, it makes no sense.”Sylvester also questioned whether Abbott made the decision to draw attention away from the state’s handling of deadly winter weather in February that left many Texans without power.On March 2, Texas reported some 6,613 new cases — as well as 1,761 probable cases — and 271 new.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious-disease expert in the US, has spoken out against the reopening of states including Texas and Mississippi, calling their decisions to lift mask mandates "inexplicable." Gov. Greg Abbott announced on Tuesday that Texas would lift its statewide mask mandate next week, making it the largest state to do so. Called Chi’chil Bildagoteel in Apache, Oak Flat is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its spiritual and cultural significance to at least a dozen south- west Native American tribes.

Abbott’s decision drew a sharp rebuke from President Joe Biden, who kicked off a full-on right-wing media outrage cycle by decrying the governor’s “Neanderthal thinking.” Meanwhile, it was later reported that Abbott didn’t even consult with his medical advisers before ditching mask mandates.

Rather than rally to the defense of his fellow conservative governors, however, Justice told CNN that he didn’t understand the rush to lift restrictions, noting that masks have been shown to save lives.

Kicking off his interview with Justice, CNN anchor John King noted that another GOP governor, Kay Ivey of Alabama, recently extended her state’s mask mandate out another month, declining to follow Texas’ lead. (The Alabama mask order was set to expire on March 8.)

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media captionWinter storm leaves millions of Texas residents without electricity. A winter storm in the US has brought deadly freezing winds, ice and snow to many regions that rarely see such frigid conditions. In Texas , a surge in demand for electricity has led to widespread power cuts.

“You’re considering additional relaxation of some of the restrictions but there is still a requirement for face coverings in West Virginia, in most places, especially indoors in crowds. Do you think it’s time to drop the mask mandate, or do you think the president is right?” King asked Justice.

“Well, to be honest with you, John, I don’t want this to become a political football,” the governor replied. “I don’t want to be critical, but some people want to just move because it’s the most politically correct thing they can do.”

He continued: “It becomes almost a macho thing and everything. In West Virginia, we wanted to be cautious, safe, respectful of everybody’s rights and everything. With all that, we’ve done the right thing all the way through this thing.”

The governor would go on and tout his state’s leading status in administering vaccines, especially in nursing homes, adding that he’s “always listened to the experts” and that he’s not had any discussions so far about lifting his state’s mask mandate.

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Texas Drops Its Virus Restrictions as a Wave of Reopenings Takes Hold. As coronavirus cases fall, states are rescinding mask mandates and reopening businesses and schools, prompting people to emerge after months of isolation despite uncertainty about the pandemic’s future. Texas said Tuesday that it was lifting its mask requirement and would allow businesses to fully reopen , the most expansive step by any state to remove coronavirus restrictions as Americans across the country are eager to emerge after a year of isolation in the pandemic.

“I don’t know really what the big rush to get rid of the mask is because these masks have saved a lot, a lot of lives,” Justice added. “We’re going to do the smart thing in West Virginia. We’re not going to do the thing that’s politically correct.”

This is not the first time that the Trump-loving Republican governor has seemingly sided with Biden when it comes to the pandemic. Last month, while the GOP grumbled over the size of the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill, Justice urged Congress to “go big” and not worry about the budget.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

West Virginia's Jim Justice Rebukes Other Governors Lifting Mask Mandates: 'For Crying Out Loud' .
"Nobody likes a mask," the GOP West Virginia governor said. "But, for crying out loud, we could be a little more prudent for 30 more days or 45 more days or whatever it took for us to get on rock-solid ground."When asked by host Margaret Brennan about his opinion on other Republican governors deciding to lift statewide face mask mandates, Justice said: "I think that's ridiculous.

usr: 1
This is interesting!