Texas Governor Greg Abbott faces a backlash of fury after issuing an order requiring the wearing of masks in most of the state’s 254 counties. The order issued on the day before the Independence Day weekend begins, requires the wearing of masks in counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways we have to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Governor Abbott said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon. “We have the ability to keep businesses open and move our economy forward so that Texans can continue to earn a paycheck, but it requires each of us to do our part to protect one another—and that means wearing a face-covering in public spaces.”
Wearing a face covering in public is proven to be one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of #COVID19 while continuing to keep Texas businesses open.
Texans should wear a face covering for the health of their families, friends, and for all fellow Texans. pic.twitter.com/5oWVfZMsph
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) July 2, 2020
Criticism over the governor’s order poured in quickly on social media.
Quorum Report’s editor Scott Braddock opened a salvo of criticism, saying the governor’s order “directly contradicts everything he has ever said about the government being able to force you to wear a mask.”
Of course circumstances change but since some of you asked: Yes, Gov. @GregAbbott_TX‘s order on face masks today directly contradicts everything he has ever said about government being able to force you to wear a mask #TxLege #coronavirus pic.twitter.com/wvGxYqqLfG
— Scott Braddock (@scottbraddock) July 2, 2020
While the governor’s order prohibits the incarceration of people refusing to comply with the executive order, it does call for a fine “not to exceed $250” for second or subsequent violations. The governor’s order calls for a verbal or written warning for a first violation.
Breitbart Texas reached out to the Office of the Texas Governor for comment about the criticism of the order. A spokesman responded that mandating the masks makes it possible to keep the Texas economy open.
Criticism continued from others responding to the governor’s tweet.
Kristen Rowin tweeted a definition of liberty…
Definition of LIBERTY:
1:the quality or state of being free:
a power to do as one pleases
b freedom from physical restraint
c freedom from arbitrary or despotic control
d positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights/privileges
e the power of choice
— Kristen Alamo Rowin (@KristenRowin) July 2, 2020
While Pamela Mynard tweeted her refusal to comply.
I do not consent and I Will not comply. Wearing a mask lowers your O2 sats and increases your CO2 levels. I wrote PPE OSHA compliance policies as a Safety Director. Get your facts straight!
— Mynard Pamela (@MynardPamela) July 2, 2020
From the other side of the argument, Dr. Mike Goddard tweeted a message of support and urged others to “Embrace what we have been asked to do.”
Ok , let’s beat this dang thing Texas!
I miss seeing you all. Embrace what we have been asked to do by @GovAbbott and find the Joy in the opportunity to grow each day.
Even in our struggles we can become better. Mindset is Everything! #BeatCoronaVirus #MaskUpTexas pic.twitter.com/dBgtFWgGju
— Dr. Mike Goddard (@drmike_goddard) July 2, 2020
And Erin Zwiener added her gratitude to the governor’s mandate.
— Erin Zwiener (@ErinForYall) July 2, 2020