Texas to ban mask mandates in all public schools starting in June

Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order banning mask requirements in all public schools beginning June 5.

After June 4, “no student, teacher, parent or other staff member or visitor can be required to wear a mask while on campus,” Abbott said.

The executive order also bans counties, cities, public health authorities, and government officials in Texas from mandating mask-wearing beginning Friday.

“The Lone Star State continues to defeat COVID-19 through the use of widely-available vaccines, antibody therapeutic drugs, and safe practices utilized by Texans in our communities,” Abbott said in a statement. “Texans, not government, should decide their best health practices, which is why masks will not be mandated by public school districts or government entities. We can continue to mitigate COVID-19 while defending Texans’ liberty to choose whether or not they mask up.”

Beginning Friday, local government officials that attempt to impose restrictions in defiance of the governor’s executive order would be subject to a $1,000 fine.

Abbott lifted the state-imposed mask mandate on March 2 and sued the City of Austin after officials there refused to comply with the state’s orders. President Joe Biden and other top Democrats criticized Abbott’s decision to reopen his state calling it “neanderthal thinking.”

“I hope everybody has realized by now these masks make a difference. We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way we are able to get vaccine in people’s arms,” Biden said on March 3.

“The last thing we need is the Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything’s fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters. … It’s critical, critical, critical, critical that they follow the science,” he added.

Yesterday, Abbott took to Twitter to announce that Texas reported zero COVID deaths.

The decision comes the same day Dr. Anthony Fauci admitted the reason he continued to wear a mask after his vaccination was so not to send “mixed signals,” even though he testified in March that wearing a mask post-vaccination was necessary and not an act of “political theater.”

“Before the CDC made the recommendation change, I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals. But being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low,” Fauci said.