Texas will not have any more lockdowns over the novel coronavirus, even with the growth of COVID-19 in the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday.
“Along the course of dealing with the pandemic, we’ve all learned what works and what does not work, and one thing that the government does not need to do is to micromanage the lives of everybody,” the Republican governor said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
Texas has experienced 1.17 million coronavirus infections to date, with 21,083 deaths, reports The New York Times. This includes 8,534 cases and 79 deaths reported on Sunday. In the past week, there has been an average of 11,759 cases reported a day, an increase of 40% from the average reported two weeks earlier.
Abbott said Monday that lockdowns are “overvalued” because COVID-19 is easily transmitted in private gatherings.
“We set broad-based guidelines for people to follow that lead to safe practices without micromanaging it,” said Abbott. “Another thing that I’ve made clear, and that is no more lockdowns in the state of Texas.”
The governor also insisted that the faith people are putting into lockdowns is misplaced.
“If you lock people down, it’s going to put them into confined areas where they can transmit COVID just as easily without protocols,” he said. “What we’ve found in Texas as well as elsewhere is one of the leading places where people do transmit COVID are in these private gatherings.”
There are, however, other restrictions in Texas, including on gatherings of more than 10 people in most circumstances, a statewide mask order, and allowing bars and restaurants to only be open at 75% capacity.
Abbott also ridiculed Oregon Gov. Kate Brown for saying that the police should be called on people seen without masks.
“I think they may have some Fourth Amendment challenges there,” said Abbott, “but also I have to point out the irony. If I understand correctly, Oregon just legalized heroin and maybe cocaine. So it’s OK to have heroin and cocaine but not turkey for Thanksgiving. That is un-American. It just does not make sense.”
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