Cases of the Chinese coronavirus are falling in Texas, over two weeks after Gov. Greg Abbott (R) lifted restrictions, including the statewide mask mandate in the Lone Star State — moves President Biden described as “Neanderthal thinking.”
Early in March, Abbott announced the end of the statewide mask mandate, which had been in effect since July, and lifted capacity restrictions on businesses.
“It is time for Texas to be open 100 percent,” the governor said at the time. “Everybody that wants a job should be able to get a job. Every business that wants to be open should be open.”
The decision drew ire from leftists, many of whom had spent the last year criticizing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for refusing to embrace blue state lockdown measures. President Biden reacted to the news of both Texas and Mississippi lifting their statewide mask mandates by describing the moves as a form of “Neanderthal thinking.”
“I think it’s a big mistake,” Biden told reporters, adding, “The last thing, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it.”
However, recent data out of Texas does not appear to back Biden’s initial concern. Cases of the Chinese coronavirus have been on a decline over two weeks after the state lifted its restrictions. Over the weekend, the state’s seven-day positivity rate dipped to an “all-time low of 5.27 percent,” and hospitalizations fell to levels not seen since the fall. New confirmed cases fell from roughly 6,600 on March 2 to around 1,900 on March 28, according to Texas Health and Human Services data.
NEW: Texas COVID numbers continue to rapidly fall; all restrictions were lifted 18 days ago
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 28, 2021
What is more, the seven-day caseload per capita has also dipped, dropping from 94.6 new cases per 100,000, or 27,424 cases on March 21 to 91.3 per 100,000 in the last seven days, or 26,486 new cases, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) March 28 data. In contrast, New York, which continues to embrace restrictive measures as well as a statewide mask mandate, continues to report more cases, both per capita and in volume, than the Lone Star State.
CDC data, which separates New York City data from the rest of the state, shows New York reporting 233.1 cases per 100,000 in the last seven days, or 25,769 cases. New York City has reported 424.9 cases per 100,000 in the last week, or 35,689 cases.
Combined, the state has reported nearly 35,000 more cases of the virus than Texas in the same time frame despite having a statewide mask mandate and various restrictions in place.