'Worse than nothing': Texas Gov. Abbott under fire after his baffling response to the state's Covid surge
Greg Abbott

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is under fire after signing a wide-ranging COVID-19 executive order Thursday that bans any mask or vaccine mandates, bans anyone requesting or requiring proof of vaccination to obtain goods or services, but promotes "personal responsibility" as the means to control what is quickly becoming a new Delta variant-fueled wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the CDC Texas has had over 47,000 new COVID cases and 240 new COVID deaths in the past seven days, with a huge 15%-19.9% positivity rate. Since the start of the pandemic Texas has, under Governor Abbott's leadership, seen nearly 3.1 million coronavirus cases and almost 52,000 deaths. Texas reports just 52% of its population 12 and older has been vaccinated.

Abbott's executive order says, "There are no COVID-19-related operating limits for any business or other establishment," and "no person may he required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering."

"Texans are strongly encouraged as a matter of personal responsibility to consistently follow good hygiene, social-distancing. and other mitigation practices," and vaccines "will never be mandated by the government," although "it is strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one."

The order also overrides and voids any "COVID-19-related limitations imposed by local governmental entities or officials."

One local Texas NBC affiliate reports, "Abbott pushes personal responsibility over government mandates as pandemic surges."

Here's what some Texans are saying: