With Threat To Sue Schools For COVID Safety Measures, Abbott Is Once Again Holding Texans Hostage

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Democrats are condemning Governor Greg Abbott’s latest executive order, which bans local government entities from requiring masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Announced Tuesday, the order takes effect Friday for municipal and county governments and will also take effect for all public schools in Texas starting June 4.

Only 30 percent of Texans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and the Pfizer vaccine received federal approval only last week for children 12 years and older. The decision by the governor has prompted several education associations, including the Texas State Teachers Association and the Texas Faculty Association, to issue statements condemning the irresponsible and harmful decision, which puts schoolchildren, teachers and families at risk unnecessarily.

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“Governor Abbott is not interested in ending this pandemic or the suffering that has come along with it. He is only interested in his reelection and catering to the far-right members of his party because he has an official primary challenger that is even more extreme than he is.

“Abbott is playing with the lives of innocent school children, teachers and faculty, and Texans across the state for his own personal gain. It is downright shameful that he has not done more to help our state get back on track, and his actions today will further delay our recovery.

“Our governor should not be tying the hands of municipalities, counties and schools that are trying to keep their students and residents safe. This is a disgusting abuse of power and voters will not let it slide.”