HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Texas Democratic party chair says Gov. Greg Abbott's recent action to open businesses 100% and ending the mask mandate 'will kill Texans.'
"It is now time to open Texas 100%," said Abbott Tuesday afternoon, signaling the ease of COVID-19 restrictions.
Effective next Wednesday, all businesses of any type are allowed to open 100 percent and the mask mandate will be lifted, the governor stated as part of his executive order to rescind previous orders.
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The move is something Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa says is 'extraordinarily dangerous.'
While Abbott acknowledged the virus isn't going away, he insisted the state is far better equipped to fight COVID-19 than a year ago thanks to vaccines and millions of Texans already adhering to best practices.
In a letter responding to Abbott's latest statement, Hinojosa adds that only 6.5% of the state's population has been vaccinated and that opening the state prematurely will only lead to a faster spread of COVID-19.
Hinojosas' letter read as follows:
"What Abbott is doing is extraordinarily dangerous. He is the worst Governor in modern Texas history. This will kill Texans. Our country's infectious disease specialists have warned that we should not put our guard down even as we make progress towards vaccinations. Abbott doesn't care.
On this Texas Independence Day, once again Abbott's actions are made independent of logic or reason. From leaving Texans to literally freeze to death, to letting a deadly virus have an open season on our residents, Governor Abbott has proven many times over that he neither understands the struggles of everyday Texans, nor does he care about doing his basic duty to protect them.
What Abbott calls pro-business is anti-people. Make no mistake: opening Texas prematurely will only lead to faster COVID spread, more sickness and overcrowding in our hospitals, and unnecessary deaths. There is no economic recovery without beating the coronavirus pandemic. This will set us back, not move us forward.
Abbott removing a statewide mandate while preaching personal responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID is an abdication of his own personal and professional responsibility to keep Texans safe.
By removing all previous state mandates and opening the state to 100 percent, Governor Abbott, who has never taken this pandemic seriously, is doing what he does best: leaving Texans to fend for themselves."
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