Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed an executive order prohibiting cities from imposing certain COVID-19 measures, and Austin Mayor Steve Adler is not very happy about it. In fact, the news upset him so much that he spent an interview whining about it on Friday.
“What’s happening with COVID right now in our community is pretty darn scary,” Adler said during a conversation with CBS Austin. The Democrat mayor also said, “it’s just fundamentally wrong for the governor to ignore the science and the data.”
Abbott’s executive order places a ban on vaccine passports and mask mandates. The measure supersedes any local laws that would conflict with the governor’s order.
The mayor insinuated that he might use legal action to circumvent Abbott’s executive order. He said:
“Twice the district court allowed the local health authority and local elected officials to move forward with orders that were not consistent with the governor’s order. We can certainly go there and do it a third time.”
CBS Austin pointed out that “numbers in Travis County are nearing the level to propel [the city] into Stage 5,” and that in July, Austin Public Health reported over 4,150 new COVID-19 cases with 19 deaths due to the coronavirus. Adler seemed to imply that the lack of vaccine mandates could be causing more deaths. He said:
“Everyone on ventilators are the people that are not vaccinated, and the fact that we have so many people that are unvaccinated, means we have a very fertile ground for the virus to expand in our community.”
The mayor also stated that businesses should be requiring their customers and employees to wear masks until the uptick of coronavirus cases is back at controllable levels. He said:
“The more places that are requiring masks, the better off we are so, [sic] I think it would be great if people running large venues required masks.”
He also expressed support for children wearing masks when they return to school.
I can tell you right now that Austinites are not on board with what Adler is proposing. As I’m writing in this article at a Golden Corral, none of the customers are masked up. Employees are wearing masks, just as they are in most food service establishments in Austin – but that’s about it.
Even in grocery stores, most are not bothering to wear a face covering, including employees. Despite being a left-leaning city, people are still trying to get back to normal — despite the local government’s attempt to push us into living as we did in 2020.
Indeed, last week, Austinites, including myself, received a slew of text messages from Austin Public Health urging us to wear masks indoors – even at home – and to wear them in stores even if we are vaccinated. Those messages were followed up with automated phone calls trying to scare us into complying with their suggestions.
Fortunately, Abbott’s executive order will ensure that these “recommendations” remain as such. People like Adler and his ilk on the City Council would love to impose more restrictions despite what residents think. So far, they are being held at bay.