Texas State Rep. Donna Howard (D), one of the fully vaccinated Texas state lawmakers who tested for the coronavirus after proudly fleeing to Washington, DC, alongside her maskless colleagues to prevent House Republicans from pursuing election integrity measures, is now calling for a universal mask mandate.
“We need to follow the science here. Texas needs to change course and allow for universal mask-wearing to prevent spread of the highly contagious delta variant, esp as children under 12 cannot get vaccinated yet,” Howard said on social media Wednesday, one day after announcing she tested positive for the coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated:
We need to follow the science here. Texas needs to change course and allow for universal mask-wearing to prevent spread of the highly contagious delta variant, esp as children under 12 cannot get vaccinated yet. #txlege @AmerAcadPeds https://t.co/szexnJ4yl3
— Donna Howard (@DonnaHowardTX) July 21, 2021
On Tuesday, Howard identified herself as one of the fully vaccinated Democrat state lawmakers who tested positive for the virus after fleeing her state in protest of election integrity measures. Even so, she touted the effectiveness of the vaccine:
Despite following CDC guidelines and being fully vaccinated, I tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday. I am grateful that the vaccine has been shown to be up to 96% effective in preventing serious illness as I am basically asymptomatic except for some minor congestion. Again, following CDC guidelines, I am isolating, where I’ll continue to work virtually. The delta variant seems to be much more contagious, even for those vaccinated, than initially thought. Thankfully, I’m vaccinated and feeling well. But this variant is hitting the unvaccinated with severe illness and hospitalizations, particularly impacting those under 65. Vaccines work. Everyone, please get vaccinated and protect yourselves.
Two days prior, Howard posted a selfie wearing a mask with the caption, “Following our health & safety protocols w/ regular COVID testing,” celebrating her test, which was at the time still negative:
Following our health & safety protocols w/ regular COVID testing. Glad to still be negative. Vaccines work & even protect those who are fully vaccinated but end up testing positive from suffering serious illness. Encourage everyone to get vaccinated. #txlege pic.twitter.com/Gi0DBbKfcK
— Donna Howard (@DonnaHowardTX) July 18, 2021
However, the irony of her latest plea was not lost critics, who pointed out she was one of the dozens of Texas lawmakers who shirked their duties, fleeing Texas via bus and plane — maskless. Photos show the Democrats smiling gleefully as they held up peace signs, flashing their smiles without masks covering their faces throughout their journey to the D.C. swamp:
ON PLANE TO DC: Texas Democratic lawmakers are leaving state to break quorum to stop Republican voting bill. Veteran Capitol observers say this is unchartered territory. Photo from Democrat on the plane. https://t.co/YOuOMb0A2m pic.twitter.com/abWoARvFIC
— ScottGordonNBC5 (@ScottGordonNBC5) July 12, 2021
Did they need an ID to buy that Miller lite? pic.twitter.com/K6IjfxFIFg
— Jeremy Grey (@jeremygrey11) July 12, 2021
“Irony not lost on me. In regard to our flight, TSA exempts private, non-commercial flights from the mask requirement,” Howard said in response to the critics. “#txlege had been meeting at the Capitol w/o masks for several months, & we continued that practice as we had all been fully vaccinated”:
Irony not lost on me. In regard to our flight, TSA exempts private, non-commercial flights from the mask requirement. #txlege had been meeting at the Capitol w/o masks for several months, & we continued that practice as we had all been fully vaccinated. https://t.co/AD5ISKWxow 1/
— Donna Howard (@DonnaHowardTX) July 22, 2021
The original three Texas state lawmakers who tested positive for the virus were also fully vaccinated.
This week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said he will not implement another statewide mask mandate after lifting it in March.
“There are so many people who have immunities to COVID [Chinese coronavirus], whether it be through the vaccination, whether it be through their own exposure and their recovery from it, which would be acquired immunity,” the governor said, adding it would be “inappropriate to require people who already have immunity to wear a mask.”