Mississippi Republican Governor Tate Reeves announced on March 2 on Twitter that he will now lift the current restrictions imposed on various businesses in his state in the Southeastern region of the United States.
“Starting tomorrow, we will lift the mask in all counties and businesses will be able to make full use of their capacity, without any regulations from the state. The number of cases and hospitalizations has dropped sharply and the vaccine is being distributed at a rapid pace. It’s time now!”
All rules will now turn to recommendations only, with a few exceptions. Indoor arenas will continue to be limited to 50 percent of their capacity, and restrictions on elementary schools will remain. However, the governor urged people to continue with social distancing and follow the health authorities’ recommendations.
Reeves further pointed out: “We have been one of the 4 or 5 most open states during this crisis, and we have been rewarded for it with more jobs and an economic recovery. It is not because what we introduced was a light burden. It’s just because the rest of the country was so strict. That’s fine, but… We must realize that none of these measures, in any state, have ever occurred before. They must cease as soon as possible. Now is the time for the Mississippi. ”
Earlier in the day, Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott lifted most Corona-related restrictions in his state. There, business operations can now return to 100 percent capacity, while the mask obligation has been abolished.
The announcement was made during a speech before the Chamber of Commerce in Lubbock, where Abbott also said: “Now we must do more to restore the livelihoods and normal lives of the people of Texas by opening up Texas to 100 percent. We should not believe that Covid-19 has disappeared, but through recovery, vaccinations, fewer hospitalizations and residents’ precautions, it is clear that coercion from the state is no longer needed.
His announcement resulted in a fierce backlash from fellow governors. California’s Gavin Newsom who called the move “reckless”. But Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw defended the move. “Sorry to break it to everyone in the comments, but lockdowns aren’t your savior,” tweeted Crenshaw. “The data doesn’t lie.” Crenshaw mocked Democrats calling their party the “party of science”.
Crenshaw linked a study done by Stanford University which had compared cases in countries with strict lockdown measures like Britain, Germany, Italy, to countries with less strict measures such as South Korea and Sweden. The study clearly showed that there was “no clear, significant beneficial effect of [more restrictive measures] on case growth in any country”.
“We do not question the role of all public health interventions, or of coordinated communications about the epidemic, but we fail to find an additional benefit of stay-at-home orders and business closures,” the report pointed out.
Florida’s decision to relax lockdown measures were proving to be far better for the state and its people than California’s draconian lockdown measures.
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