From vaccine distribution to declining case counts, America under Joe Biden‘s leadership is undeniably headed in the right direction in the fight to end the pandemic.
Unfortunately, Republican governors appear to be singlehandedly trying to reverse that progress by lifting mask mandates and other protections meant to keep the virus at bay for at least a few more months as the country gets vaccinated.
As MSNBC’s Chris Hayes pointed out, the decision by GOP governors in Texas and Mississippi to lift mask mandates comes at a key moment in the pandemic, and just before Congress is set to pass Biden’s COVID rescue package that would send funding to states.
“It’s not just Gov. Abbott making this terrible decision,” the MSNBC host said. “Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves also announced his state would reopen and repeal mask mandates, even though their vaccination rate in Mississippi is barely better than Texas.”
“Deaths have dropped down, but why would you want them to go back up?” Hayes asked.
“Deaths have dropped down, but why would you want them to go back up?” Chris Hayes asks Republican governors who are prematurely lifting mask mandates. pic.twitter.com/Tj56TmqOUU
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) March 3, 2021
Deaths have dropped down, but why would you want them to go back up? Not only that, Texas is behind much of the country in vaccinations. Less than 13% of the state has received at least one dose. That’s near the bottom of the ranking. And yet the governor of Texas thinks now is a good idea to repeal the mask mandate, as if that costs anyone anything. To open everything 100%, including, like, nightclubs – despite all the federal guidance that masks are key to preventing a new wave of COVID cases and deaths. And it’s not just Gov. Abbott making this terrible decision. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves also announced his state would reopen and repeal mask mandates even though their vaccination rate in Mississippi is barely better than Texas. And what makes this all the more maddening is that at the end of this week, hopefully, the Senate could pass the president’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package that will send much-needed aid to states and businesses and people who are unemployed and those making less than $75,000 a year, basically designed to help everyone ride this out safely, to suppress the virus for the eight or 12 more weeks it could take to get to a much better place. If only we could hang on collectively as a nation.
Republicans could undo America’s hard-fought gains
Over the past several weeks, there have been some real glimmers of hope in America’s fight to turn the corner on this pandemic.
Instead of working to secure those hard-fought gains by keeping protections in place or supporting Joe Biden’s COVID rescue package, Republicans appear eager to reverse them.
Donald Trump may be out of the White House, but the incompetent, negligent approach he took to dealing with this pandemic lives on in Republican officials across the country,
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.