Judge overrules Texas Gov. Abbott and issues a mask mandate in Dallas County
As coronavirus surges across Texas one county official is taking executive action, forcing Gov. Greg Abbott's ban on mask mandates to be declared void and issuing his own order requiring all of Dallas County to mask up while inside schools, businesses, and county buildings.
On Tuesday Texas recorded more than 20,000 new coronavirus cases. The Lone Star State under GOP Gov. Greg Abbott is 12th worst in the nation for vaccines, successfully inoculating less than 45% of its population. And hospitalizations are skyrocketing so fast Abbott is begging out-of-state medical workers to go to Texas to help.
Yet Abbott, a hard core Republican, continues to refuse to implement any mask or vaccine mandates, and banned any local agencies or governments from instituting mask mandates.
"It is so much better when we work together than when we're alone," Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said Wednesday afternoon, as The Dallas Morning News reports. Jenkins is the chief elected official of Dallas County. "The most important thing is that everyone get vaccinated as soon as possible. Face coverings are not a replacement for social distancing."
Dallas County is currently seeing 1000 new coronavirus cases daily. That number is expected to double before the end of the month.
"A Dallas County judge heard arguments from Jenkins' and Abbott's attorneys Tuesday, before deciding that the governor's executive order precluding local mask mandates was 'not [a] necessary action to combat the pandemic.'"
"The citizens of Dallas County have and will continue to be damaged and injured by Governor Abbott's conduct," the order reads, according to the Dallas Morning News. "Judge Jenkins cannot be precluded from implementing the mitigation strategies he believes are sound, reliable, and backed by scientific evidence."
Judge Jenkins also took a swipe at the Texas governor and the GOP in this Facebook video, lamenting that "Governor Abbott, and you know, some people in his political party, and following President Trump have politicized this masking, public health, and vaccination, when there really is no politics here. The virus doesn't care what, what your politics are, what your political party is, how you feel about any issue."
Attorney General Ken Paxton says he will fight the new order all the way to the state's supreme court.
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