Three-act tragedy: Today’s gutting of COVID-19 protections is the latest in Abbott’s string of attacks on Texans

AUSTIN, Texas — As Greg Abbott’s catastrophic decision to lift all statewide COVID-19 protections takes effect today, Texas Democrats continue to condemn this disastrous move by our failed governor.

This year, Greg Abbott has shown us that he is willing to put Texans through tragedy after tragedy. From day one, Greg Abbott refused to take the pandemic seriously and more than 45,000 Texans have died because of that choice.

Last month, Abbott refused to do his job during the winter storm crisis and literally left Texans to die. Now, Abbott’s decision to gut statewide COVID-19 protections will kill more Texans.

Texas and the nation are finally making progress in beating this pandemic, but by jumping the gun and slashing protections, Abbott is putting our entire recovery at risk. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky condemned the move, and a new CDC report warns that we should expect an increase in COVID-19 infections and deaths. Meanwhile, three of Abbott’s four COVID-19 medical advisors were not directly consulted before Abbott made the announcement.

Abbott’s record could not be clearer: he doesn’t care about keeping Texans safe.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“Today is a dark day for Texas. Hundreds of thousands of Texans are grieving loved ones lost to COVID-19. Yet, because of Greg Abbott, starting today, we will have no mandatory statewide protections against the pandemic. This is a slap in the face to everyone waiting for this nightmare to end. And by relying on ‘personal responsibility’ to govern mask rules, Abbott is ensuring that essential workers will face further harassment and abuse while simply trying to stay safe while doing their jobs.

“Abbott is making increasingly desperate attempts to distract from his failures, which have already cost Texans their lives. It’s a sad irony — and takes true callousness — that he is doing so by further putting our lives in danger. Abbott’s gutting of COVID-19 protections will go down as one of the most catastrophic decisions in Texas history. We won’t forget.”