Mississippi Republican Governor Tate Reeve announced Tuesday that he is lifting the state’s mask mandates beginning Wednesday. As a result, businesses can resume operations at full capacity. This comes almost two months after President Joe Biden issued a federal mask mandate to prevent the spread of coronavirus. This was one of his first executive orders during his first day in office.
‘It is Time’
“Starting tomorrow, we are lifting all of our county mask mandates and businesses will be able to operate at full capacity without any state-imposed rules. Our hospitalizations and case numbers have plummeted, and the vaccine is being rapidly distributed. It is the time!” Reeves tweeted yesterday. “Executive orders that interfered with peoples’ lives were the worst, but the only possible, intervention for much of the last year. Now, we are putting our focus on rapid vaccine distribution. We are getting out of the business of telling people what they can and cannot do,” the governor added.
Reeves said that Mississippi was among the 4 or 5 most open states throughout this crisis. As a result, the state managed to get more jobs and faster economic recovery. He said that what the state put in place wasn’t a light burden, but only because the rest of the US implemented harsher regulations. “That’s good, but we need to recognize that none of these orders, in any state, are anything short of unprecedented. They have to end at the earliest possible moment. This is that moment for Mississippi,” Reeves continued.
Mississippi Removing Mask Mandate After Texas
Reeves’ announcement followed Texas as the Lone Star State announced earlier it will remove the mask mandate next week. Texas will also allow businesses to return to full capacity. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that too many Texans lost employment opportunities because of strict mandates. In addition, many small business owners struggle to pay the bill. “This must end. It is now time to open Texas 100%,” Abbott said.
“So today, I’m issuing a new executive order that rescinds most of the earlier executive orders. Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type are allowed to open 100%. That includes any type of entity in Texas. Also, I’m ending the statewide mask mandate,” Abbott announced.
Individual Responsibility Remains
Abbott did caution that individual responsibility should continue even as the mask mandate stops. “Today’s announcement does not abandon the safe practices that Texans have mastered over the past year. Instead, it’s a reminder that each person has their own role to play in their own personal safety as well as in the safety of others,” he said. Abbott reminded his constituents that they should manage individual safety every day as a matter of personal responsibility and not because it’s a government mandate. “Individual responsibility is a corollary to individual freedom, we can have both,” Abbott added.
“Texans should continue following medical advice on preventing COVID just as they do on other medical issues. That is exactly how Texans were able to deal with infectious diseases in the past, like H1N1. They followed safe practices, and they got medical treatment when it was needed,” he said.
CDC Cautions Against Reopening
A day earlier, the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautioned against reopening too early. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky strongly recommended states reconsider before rolling back the mandates. “I am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from Covid-19,” Walensky said at the daily White House Covid-19 briefing.”Please hear me clearly. At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,” she added.
Watch the CNBC Television video reporting that Texas and Mississippi lift Covid restrictions leading health officials warn of 4th Covid wave:
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