Texas Gov. Greg Abbott threw pandemic restrictions out the proverbial window, lifting the mask mandate and telling businesses they can open at 100% capacity. In Mississippi, they also announced people can go back to gathering in bars and in person.
While people may be tired, COVID isn’t, as the medical experts sounded the alarm.
On Tuesday President Biden asked Americans to continue to wear their masks and observe pandemic protocols.
‘There is light at the end of the tunnel, but we cannot let our guard down now to ensure victory is inevitable; we can’t assume that. We must remain vigilant, act fast and aggressively and look out for one another.
Now is not the time to let up,’ he said. ‘I’ve asked the country to wear masks for my first 100 days in office. Now is not the time to let our guard down. People’s lives are at stake.’
Biden just took action under the Defense Act to negotiate a deal to make two pharma competitors work together to roll-out the Johnson&Johnson one-shot vaccine faster but it will still take time to get to something approaching herd immunity.
Meanwhile, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky also warned states not to ease COVID-19 restrictions too quickly – even as cases fall and the pace of the vaccine rollout picks up.
‘We stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained,’ Dr. Walensky said.
And in Houston, Dr. Joseph Varon who chief medical officer at Houston’s United Memorial Medical Center, said he called the hospital’s top leaders immediately after Abbott’s announcement and said they will need more staff and ventilators.
‘I am just concerned that I am going to have a tsunami of new cases,’ Varon said. ‘I truly hope I am wrong. But unfortunately, history seems to repeat itself.’