By JOHN KANELIS / email@example.com
So … Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pledged a year ago to let “science” dictate his decisions regarding the strategy he would employ to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that, right? Yes. He did.
So, now we hear from the Texas Tribune that Gov. Abbott did not discuss a plan to lift the statewide mask mandate with three of his four chief medical advisers. The fourth one, according to the Tribune, cannot say whether the decision is safe, prudent or premature.
This reporting troubles me greatly. It suggests to me that the governor is driven by a Donald Trump-like reliance on personal hunches and not on the dispassionate medical/scientific advice he is getting from the professionals with whom he has surrounded himself.
One of Abbott’s medical advisers said this, according to the Tribune: “I don’t think this is the right time,” Dr. Mark McClellan, a former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and director of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy at Duke University, said in a statement. “Texas has been making some real progress, but it’s too soon for full reopening and to stop masking around others.”
What do you think about that? Does that sound to you that the governor is relying on science, that he is being faithful to the pledge he made when the pandemic was tightening its grip on Texas’s population? It doesn’t sound like it to me.
We have suffered more than 42,000 COVID-related deaths in Texas alone. Yes, the statewide death and hospitalization rates are declining. We all are cheering the arrival of the vaccines — from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. We are heartened to hear President Biden pledge that all adult Americans who want to be vaccinated will have the drugs available to them by May.
Now, though, we hear that our governor has stiffed the medical team he brought on board to give him solid, science-based advice on how he should respond to the virus.
Are you troubled by this? If not, you should be.
Take this piece of advice from a laymen: Mask up, Texas.