Texas COVID Cases, Deaths Plummet After Gov. Abbott Repeals Mask Mandate

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Texas’ coronavirus case and death totals have collapsed in the month since Republican Gov. Greg Abbott repealed the state’s mask mandate.

Since Abbott repealed Texas’ mask mandate on March 2, Texas’ COVID-19 cases have dropped by about 4,000 per day, while the state’s deaths have dropped by 137 per day, according to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.

Many Democratic politicians predicted that Texas’ cases and deaths would skyrocket as a result of Abbott’s move.

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. (RELATED: It’s Been 3 Weeks, Where Are The COVID-19 Surges?)

“Texans have mastered the habits to keep from getting COVID,” Abbott said when he eliminated the mask mandate, which he first instituted in July. Businesses are still allowed to require their patrons to wear masks.

Texas’ new daily COVID-19 cases have dropped to their lowest level since June 2020, when the state experienced its first surge. Abbott described the spread of coronavirus as being “at an unacceptable rate … and it must be corralled” on June 23.

Democratic politicians blasted Abbott’s decision to eliminate the mask mandate, claiming that it would lead to new coronavirus cases and deaths. President Joe Biden described it as “Neanderthal thinking,” while California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted that Abbott’s move was “absolutely reckless.”

When Abbott repealed the mask mandate, Texas averaged 7,253 new cases and 232 deaths over a seven-day period.

Texas has averaged 3,224 new cases and 88 deaths over the last week. The Lone Star state has fully vaccinated 15.7% of its population against COVID-19, and 27.9% of Texans have received at least one shot, according to the New York Times’ tracker.