Texas Governor Greg Abbott drew the ire of left wingers everywhere when he issued an Executive Order on March 2 that Texas would lift all mask mandates and open their state 100 percent. And according to them, this was a big mistake and would lead to a resurgence of cases, death, doom and gloom. Funny thing has happened, it has not.
“With the medical advancements of vaccines and antibody therapeutic drugs, Texas now has the tools to protect Texans from the virus,” Abbott said in a press release announcing his Executive Order. “We must now do more to restore livelihoods and normalcy for Texans by opening Texas 100 percent. Make no mistake, COVID-19 has not disappeared, but it is clear from the recoveries, vaccinations, reduced hospitalizations, and safe practices that Texans are using that state mandates are no longer needed.”
President Biden joined in on the condemnations insinuating it was a stupid mistake.
“The last thing you need is Neanderthal thinking that, in the meantime, everything is fine, take off your mask,” Biden said. “It’s critical that we follow the science. Wear a mask and stay socially distanced.”
White House Press Secretary stated that “This entire country has paid the price for political leaders who ignored the science when it comes to the pandemic. California Governor Gavin Newsome called the move, “absolutely reckless.”
Dr. Rochelle Wallensky, Director of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was also very critical over Abbott’s decision. “Now is not the time to relax the critical safeguards that we know can stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities, not when we are so close.”
And so far, regarding Texas, they were all wrong.
But if following the science meant still wearing a mask in Texas, and the facts show there has not been any increase in cases, what does that say about the science? What does that say about our leadership in this country?
And, not only have cases failed to rise in Texas, they are actively dropping! Since Abbot’s Executive Order (EO), Texas’ Covid-19 cases have dropped by about 4,000 per day, while the state’s deaths have dropped by 137 per day, according to The New York Times’ COVID tracker.
Dr. Anthony Fauci called Abbot’s EO “ill-advised” and “risky” on March 3. He claimed such actions were “premature” and it would likely lead to another surge of new Covid-19 cases in the Lone Star State.
“That’s a dangerous sign because when that has happened in the past, when you pull back on measures of public health, invariably you’ve seen a surge back up,” Fauci said. He claimed that the only safe way to proceed during the pandemic is to wait until COVID rates fall to significantly low figures.
Yet, Fauci appeared on MSNBC ‘s Morning Joe’ on Tuesday morning and could not explain why Texas has not had any surges or negative ramifications stemming from Abbott’s EO. He was asked about the data and stated it could be wrong with a possible lag in reporting.
“You know it’s very difficult to just one on one compare that,” he said. “You just have to see in the long-range. I hope they continue to tick down, if they do that would be great. But there’s always the concern when you pull back on methods, particularly things like indoor dining and bars that are crowded, you can see a delay and then all of the sudden tick back up.”
Texas currently averages 3,224 new COVID-19 cases per day, the lowest number of new cases per day since June 19. The state also averages 88 deaths per day, the lowest since Nov. 4.
Texas could represent an interesting case if they continue to see a decline in numbers. While the data has shown this sharp decrease, Fauci was also quick to warn events such as a packed Texas Rangers stadium on Monday night could be “super-spreader” and result in numbers increasing. However, if this does not happen, it would be significant.
At the moment, Texas serves as an important case study in the cult-like mantra of “trust the science.” A blind allegiance to science is almost as bad, if not worse, than a widespread rejection of it. Science is constantly changing, evolving, and being updated as new data and discoveries occur. What was true one day may be entirely wrong the next.
While the notion of trusting science probably had some merit and good intentions in its original form, it evolved into a left-wing rally cry that is not predicated on fact but rather ideology. That could very well be the preeminent lesson from this pandemic.