Is Greg Abbott Inviting Disaster in Texas by Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions?

The governor's new policy represents a pretty modest shift from the existing rules.


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott yesterday announced that he plans to lift his state's remaining COVID-19 restrictions as of next Wednesday. The decision predictably provoked much criticism from Democrats, who argue that the Republican governor is inviting a surge in cases and deaths by acting precipitously.

"What Abbott is doing is extraordinarily dangerous," said Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Party. "This will kill Texans. Our country's infectious-disease specialists have warned that we should not put our guard down, even as we make progress towards vaccinations. Abbott doesn't care." There are several reasons to be skeptical of such warnings, starting with the details of what will actually change as a result of Abbott's new order.

Most businesses in Texas have been allowed to operate at 75 percent of capacity since October 14, when Abbott also allowed bars to reopen. As of March 10, the occupancy limit will be removed. It seems unlikely that such a change will have much of an impact on the risk of virus transmission, even in businesses that were frequently hitting the 75 percent limit.

In counties with "high hospitalizations," meaning that COVID-19 patients account for more than 15 percent of hospital capacity, local officials will be allowed to enforce occupancy limits on businesses, provided the cap is no lower than 50 percent. That is the limit Abbott had been imposing in such counties since mid-October.

Abbott is also lifting the state's face mask requirement, which he imposed on July 2. While "individuals are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household," he says, "no person may be required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering."

Businesses are still free to require face masks on their property. Their decisions will depend on how they weigh the fears of people who are keen to avoid infection against the resentment of people who don't want to cover their faces. Reuters reports that Target and Macy's, for example, will continue to require that their employees and customers in Texas wear face masks. Toyota and General Motors likewise said their policies will remain unchanged.

The Texas grocery store chain H-E-B, by contrast, says it will urge, but not require, customers to wear masks. Its employees will still have to wear masks. "Although there is no longer a statewide mask order, H-E-B believes it is important that masks be worn in public spaces until more Texans and our Partners have access to the Covid-19 vaccine," the company said in a press release. The Randalls supermarket chain is likewise lifting its face mask requirement for customers, although it said "we will continue our health and safety measures such as enhanced cleaning and social distancing guidance." The Kroger chain has not updated its policy yet but plans to do so.

The impact of eliminating the state requirement and any changes to business policies, of course, will depend on how many Texans prefer not to wear masks in public places. According to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune survey, "88% of the state's voters"—including 98 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of Republicans—"wear masks when they're in close contact with people outside of their households."

Today President Joe Biden's criticized Abbott's new order. "I think it's a big mistake," Biden said. "Masks make a difference…The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking." The Houston Chronicle says the Biden administration is "urging Texans to ignore Abbott's order and wear masks and socially distance."

Contrary to Biden's implication, Abbott's order "strongly encourage[s]" Texans to wear masks and socially distance. It merely says they will not be subject to legal penalties if they fail to do so. The Biden administration's position seems to be based on the premise that declining to punish people for not wearing masks is the same as urging them to leave their faces uncovered. The relevant question is not whether wearing a mask is a good idea; it is how much additional compliance can be accomplished by changing a recommendation to a legal requirement, and at what cost in terms of public resentment and increased interactions with law enforcement agencies.

Abbott's critics note that Texas lags behind other states in vaccinating its population. But according to a New York Times tally, 13 percent of Texans have received at least one dose, which is about the same as the share of residents who are 65 or older. Vaccines are currently available to Texans in that age group, along with people who have certain preexisting health conditions that increase the danger posed by COVID-19.

Older people face a much higher risk of dying from COVID-19: According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the infection fatality rate for Americans 70 or older is something like 5.4 percent, compared to 0.5 percent for 50-to-69-year-olds, 0.02 percent for 20-to-49-year-olds, and 0.003 percent for people younger than 20. The fact that Texas already has distributed enough vaccines to cover most people who are 65 or older should substantially reduce any risk of additional deaths stemming from less use of face masks.

Texans in high-risk groups who have not yet been vaccinated would be well-advised to continue avoiding close interaction with people from other households, especially if those people are not wearing masks. At most, Abbott's new policy might make that precaution marginally more difficult.

The same people who are predicting dire consequences from these changes also objected when Abbott lifted his statewide lockdown at the end of April. Yet newly identified cases in Texas did not start rising until mid-June. And while the state's summer surge was bigger than the one seen in California, which has much stricter COVID-19 policies, the winter surge was steeper in California. The two states have seen similar declines in daily new cases since early-to-mid January, despite their starkly different approaches to the pandemic.

In Florida, the Times notes, "schools and businesses have been widely open for months." Yet Florida also saw a sharp decline in newly identified infections around the same time that Texas and California did, as did the United States as a whole.

Some epidemiologists think that drop reflects the waning impact of infections associated with holiday gatherings, extra caution inspired by the winter surge, or some combination of the two. Marty Makary, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, argues that we can thank increasingly wide natural immunity, including T-cell responses that are not detected by antibody tests.

Whichever interpretation you favor, variations in public policy do not seem to be an important part of the story. That is apt to be especially true when we are talking about relatively modest differences, such as changing the occupancy limit for businesses from 75 percent to 100 percent of capacity or telling people they are not legally required to wear masks when the vast majority of them think that precaution is sensible.

[This post has been updated with comments from Biden.]

NEXT: Woke Excess Causes Minority Voters To Flee the Democratic Party

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  1. I think Abbot needs something, anything, to distract from the power debacle.

    But I also think Texas gives less of a shit about COVID, seeing as how the state is massive and generally sparsely populated outside the few major cities.

    Plus, there’s the fact the masks don’t do jack shit so he has that going for him too. Anyone that thinks they do already had their lobotomy, seeing as how any moron can simply breath through the mask and literally observe the water particles escaping.

    If you can vape or smoke through a mask, you can sure as shit exhale ‘disease particles’ through it as well.

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    2. I can’t even blow out a candle a foot or so a away from me with my mask on. Its not a panacea but it does clearly greatly reduces the flow of particles and droplets (which the virus also piggybacks on) and the distance they travel.

      Sure is a wide range of protection (from bad to great) but even basic covering seems to capture a wide range of particles (including those smaller than covid).

      1. A face mask deflects your breath up and to the side. That is why if you wear glasses they fog. If they were a true filter you could blow out a candle but the particles would be trapped.

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      2. So, I should not believe my lying eyes as I blow a massive cloud of vapor through my mask?

        Cool story about the candle though. Maybe if you superglued the mask to your face you could.

        1. I gave a link that address your particle concerns masks have significant ability to prevent the passing of particles through the mask but I should also note that greatly the distance particles travels.

          I did the test again this time holding the mask tightly behind my head with one hand. This time I could not blow it out from a few inches away. So clearly a tighter fit works but overall the point remains they really do help reduce the spread bad particles even if its not a panacea.

  2. Betteridge’s law of headlines is an adage that states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”

    1. Not always, some can be answered with a yes. For example a headline that asks “Is Joe Biden Losing His Marbles?” would be a yes. Other examples would be “Is Andrew Cuomo a Feckless Scumbag?” and “Is Kamal Harris a Worthless Piece of Shit?”

      1. You should probably take that up with Betteridge.

  3. You is all gonna die!

    1. I would suggest “no”

  4. A decision that will shatter the lives of Karens!

    1. There’s a herd of them, running into the Gulf of Mexico, right now!

    2. and Gavin Newsom

    3. Everything these little tyrants do or don’t do, while proclaiming “science,” is nothing but guesswork. Fauci is just an old geezer, like the guy at the carnival who would guess your weight. He’s also a lifelong bureaucrat whose real expertise is bureaucracy. That’s how he became the highest paid bureaucrat in the federal govt. The guesswork is based on political considerations, not health. The “do something” mentality results in losses of freedom and individual rights while making more people dependent on the government. Great plan if you’re into communism and authoritarianism.

      1. He doesn’t deserve a lot of credit, but just to give him a tiny little bit of credit, Fauci actually told the truth initially and admitted that cloth masks do absolutely nothing.

        Then someone (and my guess is that it was Block Insane Yomomma) got to him and gave him a Deep State lecture, and he has been ridiculously lying trough his teeth ever since, presumably to keep his job, which is so cowardly and pathetic when he knows better.

        1. That’s true. If you tell the truth, they can come down hard on you.


    People are calling these “two test cases,” and I rather agree. Seems like a good time for a story about how I became a lot more skeptical of Covid policy than most by last summer.

  6. No.

  7. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.

    1. Tell us about your operation again.

      1. A head injury about a year ago would explain what happened to sarc.

        Or was it a different operation?

        1. They have to surgically remove the alcohol container from his hand.

          1. “Edward Fortyhands” is not a game to be played lightly.

    2. My guess is that nothing else will happen, but the MSM and the Democratic Party (but I repeat myself) will attempt to inflate every scare story coming out of Texas in the next couple of months. That means every statistical outlier, such as a teenager dying from COVID, will be presented as if it’s a typical case. Every county where the local hospital gets “overwhelmed” (apparently defined as 15% capacity taken up by COVID patients) will be presented as proof positive that Gov. Abbott wants to kill people, nevermind the fact that local authorities are still free to impose stricter restrictions. And so on and so forth.

      1. Probably.

    3. Not really. We already know how it will play out.

      We also know how the democrats and the media will try to spin it too.

    4. I will agree. In the natural experiment of Texas vs California, the current evidence favors that the majority of public policies have been mostly to entirely ineffective. The fact is that both states have extremely similar trends with inflection points at the same times, corresponding to seasonal events, despite California being among the most locked down and Texas being the most open. There have not been any strong inflection points with changes in Texas policies. Any effect was dwarfed by weekly and seasonal variations

  8. inviting reelection.

    1. Inviting businesses from the perpetually closed states.

  9. Gee, it’s real big of Abbott to repeal his arbitrary imperial proclamations that never had anything to do with reducing the already minor risk of a not particularly dangerous flu-like illness. Now, if he really wanted to bring down the “case numbers” that the ruling class has been using to terrorize the gullible, he’d end the policy of allowing the state health department to count “probable” COVID-19 cases towards their case totals.

    1. “Not particularly dangerous”

      Before this started causes of death in US:

      Heart disease: 659,041
      Cancer: 599,601
      Accidents (unintentional injuries): 173,040
      Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 156,979
      Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 150,005
      Alzheimer’s disease: 121,499
      Diabetes: 87,647
      Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 51,565
      Influenza and pneumonia: 49,783
      Intentional self-harm (suicide): 47,511

      Since then in one year since the first case reported here:

      Coronavirus: 516,000

      That would put it a close #3 right below cancer

      Oh but all the doctors, hospitals, epidemiologists, public health officials, health departments, Johns Hopkins, scientists, science journals. They are all lying about this one disease for some reason. They are all in on it. Amirite?

      1. Covid has a survival rate around 99.7%. What are the survival rates of all the items you listed? We don’t shut the world down for them. We shouldn’t for this, either.

        1. It is still a dangerous infectious disease. I wanted to clear up that misconception.

          Not only that but morbidity can be terrible. Permanent lung damage, kidney disease, other complications. Even in mild cases. My sister for example still has severe fatigue and brain fog two months later.

          We do a hell of a lot to try and prevent and treat cancer and heart disease. They are not infectious so not comparable in what we can do.

          We may be able to eliminate or virtually eliminate it. If someone told you that doing what we are doing could do that for cancer would you?

          1. “It is still a dangerous infectious disease”

            Unless you’re not and old or infirm person for whom everything is dangerous, and then it’s basically nothing.

          2. It’s fun to watch you keep shitting your pants over nothing long after the world learned you were crazy.

          3. If someone told you that doing what we are doing could do that for cancer would you?

            I would patiently explain to them that there is no herd immunity for cancer, then find their caretaker.

          4. “We may be able to eliminate or virtually eliminate it.”

            How’s that working out for measles? We need to learn to live with COVID, not cower from it. Once it’s been fully integrated into the human biota, it will be nothing more than a flu that is somewhat dangerous to the very elderly.

            1. Yup. And the vaccines seem to be pretty good at taking the edge off for the elderly. It’s time to drop all of the bullshit.

            2. Measles is a good example. It has actually gone extremely well except among areas where there is little or no vaccination.

              It is not at all ‘integrated into the human biota’. It is not human nor integrated. We do not and have not ‘learned to live with it’.

              There have been a few outbreaks largely in unvaccinated communities.

              In the US where there was a brief outbreak 1282 cases in 2019. Last year 13.

              Before the vaccine there were hundreds of thousands cases per year just in the US.


              Maurice Hilleman is credited with the development of the MMR trivalent vaccine in 1971. Worldwide it is one of the most effective vaccines ever developed.

              Covid is an ongoing experiment. We do not have all the answers.

              1. Measles is a good example for sure. When I was a kid, every kid was expected to catch measles. That’s how we built immunity. Like all my friends in grade school, I caught measles. I caught chicken pox and mumps too. I even caught whooping cough. Many parents intentionally exposed their kids to what were then called childhood diseases just to get them over with and gain immunity. There were no masks. Nobody even considered lockdowns. That would have been seen as an outrageous over-reaction. Because that’s exactly what it is. People died from all those maladies but not enough to remove rights and freedoms while destroying the economy. It would be nuts. It IS nuts. This WuFlu is no different but in this age of participation trophies and wokeness, we’ve created a nation of pansies who close down the entire education system (while they convert it to a full-blown indoctrination system).

          5. No. I wouldn’t support any of the coercive measures under any circumstances. The disease is quite bad for some, but it is not so bad that the disease itself would severely disrupt the functioning of society. So I would say that it is absolutely not worth intentionally disrupting the functioning of society over, even if I thought such measures could be tolerable under some circumstances.

            1. If it was something like a super contagious version of Ebola were corpses were piling up like cordwood in the streets with people bleeding from the eyes and croaking within a few days, maybe then we can talk about busting out the zombie protocols and shutting down society, because the alternative will be just about everyone dies. That is super obviously not the case with COVID.

              And the fact remains that masks do nothing, and are just a talisman idiots clutch at so the holy spirit will pass over them.

              Religion isn’t dead, it just changed into ‘Scientism’ with robbed scientists dictating reality to the uninformed even when it’s easily debunked garbage.

              1. This. The media and politicians have been acting like COVID is airborne Ebola with 70% fatality rates and being within 6 feet of someone who coughs once is a guarantee of infection.

                The reality is it is about as infectious as the flu, and about 4x-10x more deadly, asymmetrically distributed where for 70+ its more like 50x more deadly and barely more deadly that flu for under-40 cohorts. Overall survival rates of ~99.7%, more like 99.995% for under-40 and 96% for over-70.

              2. If something like that happened, you wouldn’t be able to get people OUT of their houses. Society would shut down on its own.

          6. All infections can cause permanent damage to muscles and organs. Did you not know this?

            1. Why yes I did.

              Now help me fight them.

              1. The good news is the plain old flu that the govt claims had been killing 50,000 people per year or something apparently magically disappeared since the WuFlu arrived. Amazing how that works. I understand pneumonia deaths are down too. However, suicides are up.

          7. My sister for example still has severe fatigue and brain fog two months later.

            Funny, I had the same thing after a really nasty flu bug in 2013. Looks like “long COVID” is going to be the new Munchie trend.

        2. Covid has a survival rate around 99.7%.

          Not that I don’t think the stats have been misleadingly hyped by many (they have), but citing only deaths by Covid while ignoring the long-term after-effects (some severe) being suffered by many survivors is as stupid as the gun-control lobby citing only instances of perps being shot dead as a way to evaluate the self-defense use of firearms.

          1. “while ignoring the long-term after-effects”

            There hasn’t been a long term yet. Stop lying.

            1. I think that’s actually part of his point.

              1. No, it isn’t.

                1. Question, what is it about you personally that needs to be so contrarian about COVID? This is beginning to fascinate me that so many people either think the disease is nothing or it’s the end of the world.

                  Does it make you feel more safe to simply convince yourself that it’s no big deal? Is it an ignorance is bliss idea?

              2. For no other infection do we classify the death due to complications that occur years later as caused by the disease. Why are you asking to change how to label something now?

                1. Actually, yeah, we do.

                  And I’m not asking to change anything. I’m just wondering why people like you think long term complications resulting from a disease are nothing to care about.

                  I assume it’s because pretending everything is just fine makes you feel all safe and warm inside, but it requires so much intellectual dishonesty, I just wonder how you are able to still be so purposefully ambivalent or ignorant about a situation?

          2. Many illnesses have long-term effects, like the flu…

            Here Are 5 Scary Ways the Flu Can Affect Your Long-Term Health.

            1. Secondary Infection Risks

            Secondary bacterial pneumonia is a common flu complication that occurs in some people. Streptococcus pneumoniae is usually responsible, although Staphylococcus aureus is sometimes also a culprit. This infection can be aggressive and severe, accounting for many yearly influenza deaths. Pneumonia can cause lasting lung damage, especially if the person requires the use of a ventilator. Pulmonary rehabilitation may be necessary to improve long-term lung function.
            2. Higher Risks for Heart Attacks

            Respiratory infections like the flu can sometimes trigger heart attacks, with the biggest risks occurring within a week of infection. Researchers have found numerous strains of the virus can cause cardiomyopathy, a diseased state that makes it difficult for the heart to pump effectively. Other research has found myocarditis, or a dangerous inflammation of the heart muscle, to be another potential flu complication. Prompt treatment can help prevent permanent heart damage.
            3. Alterations in Blood Work

            Any infection will alter the blood, at least for a while. The flu can wreak havoc on the immune system, warns Health, so a bout with the flu may leave a person’s white blood cell counts off until their defenses have had a chance to recover. Infections can also reduce cholesterol levels — good and bad — so people recovering from the flu might wind up with inaccurate readings if they go in for blood work.

            4. Long-Term Lung Impairment

            The flu doesn’t always need a secondary infection or pneumonia to leave a person with lung damage. In some cases, the infection itself is enough to cause long-term impairment. One study details how the effects of leftover viral RNA fragments in the lungs may cause inflammation long after the infection has cleared. Examination of nearby lymph node contents suggests that the lungs may need months to remove all remnants of the virus before the inflammation can resolve.

            5. Neurological Damage

            Some influenza strains appear to hit the central nervous system worse than others, but H7N7 (a bird flu strain) and H3N2 (a swine flu strain) might be among the worst offenders. Research has shown these two strains, in particular, can cause structural changes in the brain that may lead to cognitive impairment. They might also cause chronic inflammation in the central nervous systems of some individuals, which may contribute to the development of psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases.

            The flu is nothing to sneeze at, even when an infection seems mild. Lasting repercussions might hit anyone at any time, and although rare, the long-term effects can sometimes be life-altering. The infection itself kills half a million people worldwide each year, but for many sufferers, survival is just the beginning of the battle. However, social distancing and mask-wearing practices might be just as effective in slowing the spread of the flu as they are in fighting COVID-19, so if enough people follow the guidelines, we may see fewer overall cases this year.

              1. The idiots you’re arguing with never understood a thing about infections before they were told to panic last year.

            1. Short version – Be afraid. Be very afraid.
              Thanks. Hadn’t heard that for 10 minutes.

            2. BTW, you accidentally omitted the negative effects of mask wearing. I’m not going to list them but I can assure you it’s a lot longer than your scary list of 5 reasons to obey authoritarians.

        3. And that’s counting deaths *with* COVID instead of deaths *from* COVID. At least partly inflated because of the perverse incentives the federal government gave to hospitals.

      2. You’re Andrew Cuomo and you don’t even see it.

      3. I’d care more if the survival rate didn’t damn near hit 100 percent and those covid numbers weren’t getting fudged like crazy.

        Shitting your pants even harder now just makes you look intractable on top of already being cowardly and authoritarian.

      4. the doctors, hospitals, epidemiologists, public health officials, health departments, Johns Hopkins, scientists, science journals. They are all lying about this one disease for some reason

        Q: Are hospitals inflating the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths so they can be paid more?

        A: Recent legislation pays hospitals higher Medicare rates for COVID-19 patients and treatment

        1. Doctors wouldn’t bilk Medicare

          – Bob Menendez

          1. Do doctors get paid more if the hospital gets a subsidy? Did you ever notice your medical bill? You get two of them. One from the doctor and one from the hospital. Doctors don’t get paid by the diagnosis. They get paid by procedure code.

            1. Yes Doctors never get raises when hospitals do well….

            2. “Do doctors get paid more if the hospital gets a subsidy?”

              Frequently they do, yes.

              “Doctors don’t get paid by the diagnosis. They get paid by procedure code.”

              Well that depends on many factors. Some, those at hospitals for example, get paid this thing called a Salary. They BILL by procedure code, the HOSPITAL gets the money, and then pays the doctors a salary and BONUSES.

              So, in your desperate rush to defend a position with no merit, you were completely wrong.

            3. They get paid by procedure code.

              And they get paid more if they use a Covid related code.

              Are you seriosuly doing this?

              1. He is because he went full chicken little last year and can’t bring himself to walk it back.

                1. Echospinner is passive aggressive totalitarian scum that needs to be put down

              2. The codes he’s talking about have nothing to do with diagnosis. This is the typical compensation model in the network I work for.

                1. My wife has basically the same job. Watching Echospinner try to feign expertise was pretty comical.

                  1. Echospinner is right on this one from where I sit. The incentive for doctors is to overstate the amount of procedures they performed, or to perform arguably unnecessary procedures. They haven’t much of a chit to diagnose anything either way except as a prelude to one.

                    1. Except of course, he and you are wrong and I gave you an example why downthread.

                    2. “Echospinner is right on this one from where I sit”

                      Ah ok you’re his sockpuppet. No wonder your expertise sounded fraudulent too.

            4. “Do doctors get paid more if the hospital gets a subsidy? Did you ever notice your medical bill? You get two of them. One from the doctor and one from the hospital. Doctors don’t get paid by the diagnosis. They get paid by procedure code”

              As a professional in the industry I can say with 100% certainty that you’re a moron trying to BS your way out of a bad argument.

            5. Did you ever notice your medical bill?

              1998 callled. They want their “I once got something so I’m an expert on all facets of it” back.

            6. Where have you been the last year? Many doctors have come and said their cause of death diagnosis was overruled by higher ups in the hospital. It is amazing you’ve remained this ignorant for over a year.

          2. Some do bilk Medicare. I met one once. He went to prison for it.

            1. “The FY 2019 Medicare FFS estimated improper payment rate is 7.25 percent, representing $28.91 billion in improper payments, compared to the FY 2018 estimated improper payment rate of 8.12 percent, representing $31.62 billion in improper payments”


        2. Who signs death certificates?

          1. Is it the guys you just had move those goalposts?

            1. Same goalposts. The claim the “hospitals” are faking death certificates ignores the fact that doctors, not hospitals sign those certificates. Medicare fraud and malpractice are serious legal issues and can end a career or result in criminal charges.

              The same actually goes for the Hospital. Medicare fraud can result in severe consequences.

              The doctor has nothing to gain here. Medical records cannot be faked or altered. There are a lot of people involved. They would all have to be in on it for what? A few bucks.

              Primary cause of death does involve uncertainty. When a patient comes in with Covid pneumonia or any pneumonia, subsequently develops kidney failure, sepsis, has history of diabetes and dies what killed him?

              Nothing is perfect. there is going to be a margin of error for this or anything else. But 560,000 is a very big number.

              Fact is there is not one solid shred of evidence to support the charge of deliberate fraud. It is pure speculation.

              1. “Same goalposts”

                Just moved 10km that away

                “. The claim the “hospitals” are faking death certificates”

                No one made that claim. You made it because you needed to move goalposts.

                1. You :“Are hospitals inflating the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths so they can be paid more?“

                  How are they doing that? If the death certificate says one thing how can hospitals inflate numbers?

                  1. “You :“Are hospitals …”

                    Akshully, that was the website for which I gave a link. I’m not “fact”

                    And you obviously didn’t click on it hence why you look silly right now.

                  2. “How are they doing that? If the death certificate says one thing how can hospitals inflate numbers?”

                    It’s amazing that you went from “no reason” to “they would never do that” to “I dont understand the debaye explain it to me” just from getting pounded like a 5 dollar ENB.

                2. More information on the data you see.

                  From Johns Hopkins where I get most of my statistical information on the numbers.

                  “Now, a nationwide collaboration of clinicians, informaticians and other biomedical researchers at 60 institutions — with Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Christopher Chute, Dr.PH., M.D., M.P.H., as its co-leader — has begun collecting and harmonizing hundreds of thousands of medical records from COVID-19 patients to extract data for a new, centralized and secure database that will feed big data studies of the disease.”


                  1. “06/30/2020”

                    You fucking idiot.

                  2. Hey wow they had plans to build a database nearly a year ago, that doesn’t make you any less wrong at all or even apply.

              2. “The doctor has nothing to gain here”

                As has been explained to you, this is patently false.

                1. No you don’t understand how medical reimbursement works. Trust me I do. I tried to explain it.

                  1. It’s literally my all day long job and you didn’t wvrn use the correct terminology.

                    1. You bill for the hospital.

                      Did you ever falsify an ICD code? Are you claiming that happened here?

                    2. I find it hilarious that you did a Google search and thought dropping some outdated terminology would help rather than expose you.

                    3. “You bill for the hospital”

                      And no, that isn’t how it works you fraud.

                  2. “Trust me I do.”

                    Nah. No one trusts you just because you think you’re an expert because you got a bill once.

                    “I tried to explain it.”

                    And made a fool of yourself.

                    1. Ummm no that is not why but this is not a place for me to give personal information.

                    2. Riiiiight “Trust you” again.

                      Nah. No one trusts you just because you think you’re an expert because you got a bill once

                    3. This is just sad Echo. Give it up you got trucked.

                  3. I’m the billing coordinator for the large accounts division at a major hospital.

                    You don’t know what you’re talking about.

                    1. Back office admin.

                      Thank you for your efforts.

              3. You should just point to excess death figures and move on.

                1. And yeah, a good amount if it is thanks to the NPIs, but most of it is COVID.

                  1. Most of it is due to yearly variations on the number. The excess death number means nothing without understanding variances in the number.

                2. I had a discussion with one of our staff Doctors, off the record. He told me of a hospice patient he had, COPD and Stage IV NSCLC. 4 liters of O2 per hour, probably 2 weeks on the outside. He died and post-mortem was tested for Covid and his COD was then reclassified.

                  That isn’t fraud (which Echospinner keeps acting like this discussuon is solely about) but it isn’t accurate either.

                  1. A bit old now, not sure how it ultimately played to conclusion…

                    The Grand County, CO, coroner is disputing the number of COVID-19 deaths the state is reporting for the county.

                    Brenda Bock told county commissioners on Tuesday that the state is reporting two additional COVID-19 deaths in Grand, which she believes should not be included.

                    The coroner maintains that only one person in the county has died from COVID-19, while two more people have died with it, for a total of three COVID-related deaths in the county. However, the state is reporting five for Grand.

                    In disputing the numbers, Bock explained that a couple who died of gunshot wounds late last month have been included in the state’s numbers. The state told Bock those deaths are included in the count because the two tested positive for COVID-19 within 30 days before their death.

                    Bock called the state’s reporting “false and misleading.”

                    “The two cases were autopsied, and the cause of death was listed as ‘blunt force injuries due to a gunshot wound,’” Bock said of what police determined to be a murder-suicide. “Nowhere did the pathologist say COVID was the cause of death.” She conceded that while the two extra deaths might not make a big difference to the state, adding them to Grand’s count increases the county’s COVID deaths by 40%. She said she is working with the state to try and get the deaths removed.

                    “If we want the public to trust and believe the information being released, we need to make sure it is accurate,” Bock said.

                    Grand County Public Health Director Brene Belew-Ladue explained that state and Centers for Disease Control reporting protocol requires that anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 within 30 days of their death be included in these numbers.

                    1. Yes, this is a silly example of a small number of deaths that should NOT be included, but it leads one to ponder how many other deaths are being included. Certainly not enough to make the COVID death toll less horrifying, but why do these bureaucrats feel a need to artificially inflate the numbers?

                      We’ve seen other instances of things like alcohol poisoning deaths, motorcycle crash deaths, mistakenly indicating people were dead when they were not, etc. being counted as COVID deaths simply because of the positive test. And it has been coroners who have disputed the counting of these and state officials who fight to include the deaths numbers.

                      E.g., in Florida, the covid-tracking app used in morgues assumes a COVID-positive patient death is due to COVID…”He said the app the medical examiners use for COVID-19 cases automatically inputs the virus as a cause of death and they have to physically change that box from yes to no if the person had COVID but actually died of something else — like a gunshot.”

                    2. Certainly not enough to make the COVID death toll less horrifying, but why do these bureaucrats feel a need to artificially inflate the numbers?

                      This question is rhetorical, I’m assuming.

                      Keep in mind, Colorado public health officials and their lapdogs in the local media were claiming that restaurants and large public gatherings were the primary spreaders of COVID during the annual flu season spike, when state’s own fucking COVID website showed, plain as fucking day, that the vast majority of outbreaks during the spike were in nursing homes, prisons, and schools. The NYT dug a little deeper into the data, and found that the school outbreaks were taking place on college campuses (meaning, dorms–IOW, places where large numbers of people are cloistered and mingling together for extended periods of time).

                      These public health officials and the media have been gaslighting the American public for nearly a year now.

                  2. Based on what I’ve seen in our internals I estimate that somewhere between 10 and 20% of the “COVID deaths” are overstated in the published figures. Also, about 30% of the deaths at the nursing homes and assisted living facilities in network had DNH/DNR orders, which is to say that they were literally sitting around waiting to die.

                    But even backing those out, that’s still a lot of deaths. I’m sanguine about it, though. People die and it sucks; c’est la vie. It’s absolutely cause to act responsibly in the face of a threat with such variable outcomes, but it’s no reason to completely overturn society and forsake all freedoms.

                    1. “between 10 and 20% of the “COVID deaths” are overstated”

                      Then your assertion that Echospinner is right completely fails.

                  3. Thank you RN for sharing that.

                    Question. If the patient had contracted pneumococcal community acquired pneumonia what would be the direct cause of death?

                    You are right. Requiring high O2. But it is only a clue.

          2. Could be any number of people many of whom have at least some financial incentive.

      5. It’s serious because you’re innumerate?

      6. That would put it a close #3 right below cancer

        For one year. Cancer and heart disease has killed that many people, year over year, for decades. Moreover, while heart disease and cancer also skew with age similar to COVID, they still kill younger people in larger numbers/proportion.

        For people 45 and under automobile accidents have been and will continue to be more deadly than COVID.

        But the doctors, hospitals, epidemiologists, public health officials, health departments, Johns Hopkins, scientists, and science journals don’t care because driving isn’t a treatable disease. Or, at least, until lockdowns and rent moratoriums, wasn’t.

        1. Imagine that in one year. From zero to #3. Very impressive bug there.

          Trauma is not treatable? It is an entire specialty. Doctors have not advocated for safer cars and restraints?

          I am not advocating for any specific policy. Texas can do whatever it wants. There is lot of misinformation out there and I am responding to it.

          Why is the death of an older person not a concern for you? Do you hate older people?

          1. Considering the fact that you don’t think Hospitals actually employ Doctors, your opinion isn’t worth a whole lot.

            “Why is the death of an older person not a concern for you?”

            Because they’re old, frail, and it’s imminemt anyway. Cowardice in service of a lost cause is a much greater sin than the simple cowardice you normally show.

            What the fuck is wrong with you?

            1. Scared of something that has killed less people than the spanish flu when it came on the scene, even though we had substantially less technology and a much smaller population then. That’s what’s wrong with him, fear is the mind killer.

              1. I am not afraid of disease. If I were I would not have chosen the life I have lived.

                1. Your unrelenting pant shitting proves otherwise.

                  1. You are down to that for argument?

                    Ok stay healthy.

            2. Hospitals who employ doctors do not pay them by diagnosis. The pay by RVUs. Relative Value Units and are based on your contract and arrangement. Those are somewhat arbitrary.

              The short answer is they pay and evaluate you for productivity. It all depends on your contract and how that works. Diagnosis is your own business.

              1. I can’t get enough of you running off to read Google and then comimg back to use terminology incorrectly. You’ve made my day and my co-workers are loving it too.

              2. So awesome you can’t even lie with consistency.

                “The pay by RVUs. Relative Value Units and are based on your contract and arrangement.”

                March.3.2021 at 3:24 pm
                Do doctors get paid more if the hospital gets a subsidy? Did you ever notice your medical bill? You get two of them. One from the doctor and one from the hospital. Doctors don’t get paid by the diagnosis. They get paid by procedure code.

                You are so fucking obviously lying.

                1. You’re not supoosed to notice that. He will of course lie and say that making two completely irreconcilable claims is not a problem at all.

                  1. I don’t patciularly care one way or the other, it’s not like he was in any way convincing. His entire goal was a face saving exercise, and I don’t plan to be here all day and night while he shitposts until everyone leaves so he can claim his many different competing claims weren’t wrong.

                2. Come on now. wRVUs are based on procedure code – there is literally nothing inconsistent about those two statements.

                  1. Thank you.

                    That is exactly how it works.

          2. Not an impressive bug at all.

            One thing to consider: we have a vaccine for the flu. We have flu-specific medications (e.g., Tamiflu). We have some herd immunity to the flu. We do not usually see flu victims overwhelm the medical system. And flu still manages to kill tens of thousands of Americans most every year (about 90k just a few years ago).

            We have no vaccine for the COVID. We have no COVID-specific medications. We have no herd immunity for COVID. COVID was close to overwhelming some parts of the healthcare system.

            And with all that, COVID is only killing 5-10x more than flu? Punk-ass virus. With our woeful defense against it, COVID ought to be running up the score like Georgia Tech vs Cumberland ( The 1916 Cumberland vs. Georgia Tech football game was the most lopsided in the history of college football, with Georgia Tech winning 222–0.)

            Your answer is like many others I’ve seen online about this issue. And completely misses the point. People die from the flu DESPITE all the advantages we supposedly have over it. But no one has ever cared enough to demand that we wear masks and practice social distancing to save them. And when COVID is “gone” it seems likely that we’ll go back to ignoring their deaths. We never did any of this before we had flu shots and tamiflu, by the way.

            I just don’t think much more about the people dying of COVID than I think about the people dying of the flu. COVID deaths are not more tragic than flu deaths. The vast (VAST) majority of people who get the flu will survive and it seems the vast majority of people who get COVID will survive, albeit at a slightly higher risk of dying. COVID *is* more deadly than the flu. Some people who get the flu will die, despite medicine’s best efforts; some larger number of people who get COVID will die despite medicine’s best effort.

            The risks are not quite the same, but neither are they so much different to me that I see much reason to treat them differently. And certainly no reason to stop the world’s economy.

            1. Is the worlds economy stopped?

              Not from where I sit. There are harms. I cannot argue from one measure to another about what works or causes more harm than good. Vaccines seem the best going yet we cannot all get them.

              Every patient is treated differently. Old aphorism from William Osler

              “The good physician treats the disease; the great physician treats the patient who has the disease.” The great physician understands the patient and the context of that patient’s illness.”

              Numbers are dropping which is very welcome news.

              I could care less about politics about this. It just gets in the way.

      7. You’d have a point if they didn’t purposefully obfuscate the numbers for the better part of a year.

        1. Have any charges been brought? Is there any solid evidence?

          It would be illegal you know. Medicare does not take these things lightly.

          1. Move those goalposts!

            You went from no reason to they probably wouldn’t do it and if did they’d get caught.

            Oh wait…

            Someone addressed that

            March.3.2021 at 3:32 pm
            “The FY 2019 Medicare FFS estimated improper payment rate is 7.25 percent, representing $28.91 billion in improper payments, compared to the FY 2018 estimated improper payment rate of 8.12 percent, representing $31.62 billion in improper payments”


            1. It is not moving goalposts to continue a discussion.

              I read your media post.

              If the estimate of improper payment by Medicare is around 8% total before the epidemic. What does that mean for Covid. How does Medicare define improper payment.

              “It is important to note that improper payment rates are not necessarily indicative of or are measures of fraud. Instead, improper payments are payments that did not meet statutory, regulatory, administrative, or other legally applicable requirements “

              That is total of a massive budget.

              As I pointed out the death rate does not come from Medicare billing.

              Even if you put error bars on the numbers of deaths it would still be a very dangerous virus which has killed around 2.5 million around the world. It still needs to be fought. The vaccines are the best weapon we have. Got the first one yesterday. My mother has but the rest of my immediate family cannot yet.

              I cannot say what individuals or the state of Texas should do. I would encourage everyone to keep reasonable precautions and vaccinate when you can get it.

              Perhaps I am a bit wordy today because of a minor reaction.

              1. “It is not moving goalposts to continue a discussion”

                However, what you did definitely is.

                1. No it looks at the allegation that hospitals are inflating the numbers.

                  I do not agree within the margin of error. I gave you a link to how Johns Hopkins does it. They delve into medical records. Their numbers are in line with all others.

                  Even if it is off it would not be significant. There is also the possibility of unreported cases which the media article you linked to gave me. Many deaths are not diagnosed.

      8. No one is disputing this. What is disputed is the effectiveness of lockdowns and mask mandates. California everyone everywhere is masked up and their death and infection rate was higher than anywhere.

      9. You are assuming died with means died of again. Here is the problem… covid is detectible in your system for 3 months after symptoms have completely gone, especially with high PCR thresholds. There is a 20% bump in payments for covid deaths. Most other countries are counting covid deaths only if there is respiratory complications leading to death, such as Singapore. You are allowing them to count anybody who tests positive even if they die in a car accident.

      10. They aren’t “lying” so much as they are counting this one disease differently than every other disease ever. It’s common sense that not everybody who dies with a tiny piece of covid in them died because of covid, but that’s how we’re counting.

      11. Oh but all the doctors, hospitals, epidemiologists, public health officials, health departments, Johns Hopkins, scientists, science journals. They are all lying about this one disease for some reason.

        When they’re getting paid more to count deaths as COVID, yeah. Anyone thinking these numbers aren’t at least somewhat cooked doesn’t understand how incentives work. The question is to what degree have they been overcounted so hospitals could make up the loss of revenue in other areas of treatment.

        The vast majority of outbreaks have been in prisons and nursing homes, based on the data. The average age of a person dying from this is the same as your life expectancy, based on the data. The average person dying from this has at least 2.5 co-morbidities, mostly related to obesity (which has been a nationwide epidemic going back decades, to the point that 40 percent of Americans are classed as obese now). Evidence showed as early as last summer that Vitamin D and inhaled steroid treatments could dramatically reduce symptoms, but the doctors discussing this were either ignored by the hype-tainment media, or branded as quacks. Now studies are coming out confirming what these doctors were saying all along, to the point that one study in Australia was ended early so the control group could also get the treatment.

        There was no fucking reason to shut down large swaths of the country for months once this information came out. None whatsoever. Mask mandates were already in place in several states when the annual respiratory illness spike began. They didn’t do shit to stop the spread. New York and Florida had the exact same case curves despite two completely different policies.

        Your post is nothing more than an appeal to authority.

        1. Remember: it’s because of echospinner and his ilk that millions of Americans had their lives ruined, businesses destroyed, and your children abused.

        2. I never advocated shutting down large swathes of the country.

          Until we just put enough needles in arms people should take reasonable precautions. I do not know what those are exactly.

          Hospitals, not all the rest of what I listed were given a bonus to make up for losses as the peak hit. There is nothing wrong with that. They lost elective procedures, there were costs.

          The allegation that it resulted in fraudulent medical reporting has no basis in fact.

          1. I never advocated shutting down large swathes of the country.

            Except that’s exactly what fucking happened thanks to the Cult of the Precautionary Principle and your “it’s a dangerous infectious disease and one of my relatives still feels yucky after getting over it!” arguments.

            Until we just put enough needles in arms people should take reasonable precautions. I do not know what those are exactly.

            Now you’re just begging off because you can’t deal with the actual fallout from this spate of mass lunacy.

            Hospitals, not all the rest of what I listed were given a bonus to make up for losses as the peak hit. There is nothing wrong with that. They lost elective procedures, there were costs.

            Irrelevant. The fucking peak didn’t even hit until the regular flu season. What the fuck was going on in the spring when deaths weren’t nearly as high?

            The allegation that it resulted in fraudulent medical reporting has no basis in fact.

            It’s already been shown that people who didn’t actually die of COVID have been listed as COVID deaths. Get the fuck out of here with that nonsense.

      12. Any and every number the federal govt puts out is BS. Everything the federal govt says is a lie. It’s SOP. This holds true in all matters, not just this scamdemic nonsense. And no, I’m not cynical. Just because they have a bigger megaphone since they basically took over the lamestream media doesn’t make their BS any more true. That’s the result of the govt legalizing propaganda on Americans. You really have to ignore a lot of what goes on around you to believe anything the govt tells you. I started paying close attention about 1966. Acquired over a decade of experience on the inside too.

      13. One thing that will never cease to amaze me is Libertarians’ strange contrarian positioning when it comes to modern medicine.

        You show them that over 500,000 Americans have died in one year because of a disease, and they do all they can to pretend that it’s no big deal, or that there is some master conspiracy theory going on.

        It’s one area where the “reason” of Libertarians flies out the window.

    2. He only did it because he was getting outflanked on the right by more principled politicians and was getting jealous of their praise. I don’t think he realizes that the truly principled thing would have been to never panic last July and institute a mandate in the first place.

  10. Only democrat run hellholes are still doing the covid fear mongering.

  11. I suspect that Governor Abbott is pretty safe here. Most of the people taking precautions will continue to do so. Wearing masks and keeping socially distanced. It doesn’t matter what the capacity limit is for restaurants, I am not eating inside until my wife and I are vaccinated. I suspect many Texans feel similarly. The fact is most people have been taking precautions for quite a while, see the end in sight and are willing to wait.

    Greg Abbott gets the power issue off the front page and little else will happen.

    1. He’s safe anyway because Texas Democrats go out of their way to nominate terrible candidates for statewide office, as we saw in recent years with Wendy Davis and Beta O’Dork.

    2. You would be incorrect about the willingness of Texans to eat out. While the restaurants don’t currently have lines many are operating at or very near that 75% right now. They will easily fill up to the 100%.
      This also means I no longer get free nachos at the dance hall so it can be an eating establishment. The bar was running closer to only 50% of the normal crowd but I think that was mostly because people didn’t want to deal with the masks. No masks and I think bars will quickly fill up again.

    3. If he gets out of the primary he will probably win (closely) ala Ted Cruz 2018, but the primary is going to be brutal for Governor Hot Wheels and he isn’t a lock. The base is out for blood and thinks this panic went on too long in the first place, which it did.

  12. Seems pretty clear at this point that it will not be anything like a disaster. Masks and lockdowns don’t seem to correlate much at all with mortality. And in any case, it’s the right thing to do.

  13. We were all already killed by Net Neutrality anyway.

    1. I remember dying a while back.

      1. Yeah, I thought we all died from the Mayan apocalypse back in 2012 and this is basically hell.

        Actually, that would explain a lot.

        1. Definitely feels like purgatory.

  14. I donated my stimulus check to Reason last year, but the magazine’s writers’ inability to call the lockdown restrictions by their name (an unscientific, tryannical sham with no historical or current scientific evidence to justify them, let alone any consideration of moral/ethical concerns of forcing the healthy to stop living in order to supposedly save the sick) has really disappointed me.

    How many times does it need to be said? There is not even correlation between restrictions and spread, hospitalizations or death. There is no correlation between holidays and other so-called superspreaders and spread, hospitalizations or death. The data is out there. Reason has pussyfootted around this for a year now, and I don’t undertsand why. All of these measures need to be denounced for the tyrannical, civil society-destroying sham that they are. The fact that Reason still refuses to mount a full-throated attack against these tyrants is motivation enough for me to never give any money to the foundation again.

    1. Most of their staff voted for Joe Biden

    2. One of my kids was freaking when this scam first started. I told him right then that this thing would do what it’s going to do and nothing these govt clowns try to do would stop it. I explained that the mad scientists in this world are gonna continue to develop viruses because that’s what they do. There’s no way to stop this crap so we have to live with it and adapt or we will destroy the country. The morons running this country would rather destroy the country than adapt. The UK strain or the next virus will always be on the horizon. Why is this so difficult to grasp? Did he listen to me? Hell no. I’m just some old fart. Smiling raspy Dr Doom is the unelected authority running this show.

  15. “Is Greg Abbott Inviting Disaster in Texas by Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions’

    No, people at risk are adults, they can make their own decisions and deal with the consequences, good or bad.

    The real big worry is OMG! what if a governor lifts restrictions and nothing different happens?

    1. Which seems the most likely given the experience of other states and countries that lifted or never had restrictions. Masks and shutdowns do not account for the huge difference in mortality in different locations. Perhaps the most striking comparison is between east and south-east Asia and Europe. They had similar restrictions (though much looser in some places in Asia such as Japan which did not lock down and had nothing close to universal masks) and policies, but Europe has like 30x higher death per population from covid. There is no way that the difference can be explained by different policies or cultural behaviors.

  16. Nope.

    It’s been obvious for like 8 months the virus is seasonal. We watched it move down into the sunbelt while disappearing up north. We then watched it move down into the southern hemisphere AND THEN BACK UP AGAIN.

    All the lockdowns, the masks, the suspension of the bill of rights, all 100% useless.

    If only we had an actual media who could be pointing this out every single day.

    1. “Is Greg Abbott Inviting Disaster in Texas by Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions?”


  17. Greg Abbott is a piece of shit who deserves no credit for lifting a pointless reactionary mask order he created in the first place. I would bet anything that this is a political move to contrast himself against the democrats now in power rather than some come-to-jesus moment about how useless masks are.

  18. Thanks for sharing.
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  19. I would think it has been long enough to compare the statistics of states that had strict mandates and those that didn’t. The government is angry because the data proves people are intelligent enough to make their own decisions without the whip of big brother on their backs. Only those exposed forcibly in nursing homes and long term care facilities needed government to protect them if the facility did not. In New York Cuomo forced nursing homes to take in Covid patients which resulted in the needless deaths of thousands. The reaction by the MSM and Democrats is to disparage Texas and Florida and give Cuomo a pass. Anyone intelligent enough to understand give the MSM about as much consideration as SNL and consider them a joke.

  20. It’s an issue of enforcement, not science. The problem with lockdowns was never whether or not they are science compliant. If you’re going to require something as a government, you also need an enforcement mechanism. That means surveillance, policing, fines and jail time for non-compliance. On that issue, the question of the science is not whether or not wearing a mask or social distancing helps, but whether or not these methods of behavioral manipulation produce compliance. Thus far, they don’t. That’s why the whole world is suffering irrespective of policy. The only way you could improve covid outcomes in America is to go back in time 20 years and teach the current generation how to be healthier and more hygienic.

    I will wear a mask and distance regardless of whether there’s a mandate, but I won’t support jailing someone for making the “wrong” choice.

    1. The only way you could improve covid outcomes in America is to go back in time 20 years and teach the current generation how to be healthier and more hygienic.

      “Look 20 years into your future. If you don’t die of a heart attack or the ‘beetus before then, your junk-inhaling lifestyle is going to cause you to get wrecked by turbo-sniffles. Now put down the Big Gulp and stuffed-crust pizza, and start getting some exercise, fatty.”

    2. No enforcement? South Austin – Bank of America manager on South Congress called the police on me. I stood my ground until they came and told me I would be arrested for Criminal Trespass if I even tried to go in there again. I pulled all my money from Bank of America forever. Spectrum store on West 5th manager called the police on me for not wearing a mask for returning their equipment after I cut the cord. Great Clips manager in Westgate threw me out and cussed me out for not wearing a mask before their corporate mandate even began. I went to South Dakota to get a haircut – No hassles and a better cut than I ever got in Austin. Those are just for starters. I have been harassed by many random SJW morons who think they became my boss when Abbott pulled his power play. He will never get my vote after creating this dystopia in Austin. Adler is far worse than Abbott. Adler is the mayor who gained fame for locking down Austin while enjoying vacation time in Cabo San Lucas. What did we do to deserve these chumps?

      1. That’s the problem, you were in Austin, the neo-yuppie, tech goon faggot holding pen for the state of Texas.

        1. Tell me about it. But I was here before them. Moving is very stressful and I’m not up to it or I would. A Hill Country retreat would be nice.

    3. It’s an issue of enforcement, not science.


      This is actually kind of sort of true, at least in the sense that if we locked everyone in cages fifty feet apart, we could prevent the spread of infectious diseases forever.

      What a wonderful world that would be.

  21. As we all know God has a particular affinity for Texans so they should be fine.

  22. I have the same medical degree as all of these outraged Democrats (a BBA in accounting). Abbot has access to every data point that exists. I’m, hesitant to emphatically claim that this is the right move, but I can say that while Texas has been pretty much open this whole time, my state, next door in New Mexico, has had the hobnail boot of government on our throat the whole time. Thousand of bankrupted business, ruined lives, and all that goes with it has given us a Covid mortality rate slightly higher than that of Texas. So I’m inclined to listed the governor who has delivered an average mortality rate without destroying lives in the process.

    1. Well, isn’t that the plan? Put all the small businesses out of business. Create a system of monopolies and oligopolies that the federal govt can easily control, like their doing right now with lots of friendly persuasion while technically trampling all over individual rights and freedoms. Make those previously independent entrepreneurs so dependent on the federal govt that they beg for $600 here and $1400 there from the Stockholm Syndrome abusive govt that took away their livelihoods. Meanwhile, bamboozle the entire nation and world with 24/7 propaganda (wear a mask, wash your hands, social distance, and my favorite, don’t touch your face) among many other 1984-like repetitive msgs that permeate every medium. Everything is ontrack.

  23. Found echospinner’s Twitter.
    The hallmark fake defiance in the name of leftist conformity gives it away

  24. It’s only been 2 months…

    BREAKING : A federal judge in Washington has ordered the release of an Proud Boys leader Ethan Nordean after declaring that the government had presented “weak” evidence tying him to the Capitol Jan. 6 riot.


      About 10 of my friends who attended Trump’s speech but DID NOT go to Capitol building thereafter have had the FBI turn up at their door to ask them why they went to D.C

      This is criminal intimidation. Our FBI is trying to scare conservatives against ever gathering in the future.

      1. Now that’s a great article that proves there was absolutely no crimes committed. But I think there were over 200 that got arrested and most are still in jail. And what ever happened to the shaman guy? Is that his name or is he a shaman of some sort? I don’t know. Maybe his great great great great great great great great grandmother was a native American of something. But I hear on the radio news that he was begging for a pardon that never came. In fact, I don’t think any of those in jail didn’t get a pardon. So I guess Trump just fucked them. But these things can happen when you follow a cult leader. Just keep that in mind in 2022 and 2024.

  25. It’s telling that the debate falls so neatly along party lines. It is also exhausting.

    I spent 2020 in Lubbock TX, and mask compliance was high. Still, I think the governor’s announcement will be welcome there. I moved to Austin (literally) yesterday, and was astonished to see people walking around with masks on outside. OUTSIDE. This is possibly the most liberal spot in Texas, so while I welcome the change, I think local politics will define policy here. It’s a disappointment. I expect that people here will continue to wear masks – even outside – to demonstrate to everyone around them that they are good liberals. Masks have always been largely about virtue signaling, and now masks will be almost entirely about communication – not of a disease or virus particles, but about political affiliation. Wear a mask or risk being called a Trumptard!

    Also, what’s with Biden throwing around the term “Neanderthal” in response to this change in policy? I know he didn’t just mess with Texas.

  26. I can’t speak for other stores, but the one where I work (not in Texas), pretty much no employee wears a mask in the backroom or breakroom

    There is no enhanced cleaning most of the time.

    We did have a couple Covid outbreaks. That was the only time we ever had special cleaning. And no one died from it.

  27. “I think it’s a big mistake,” Biden said. “Masks make a difference…”


    Not true except in two ways:

    1.) They make some people feel better and less scared

    2.) They show tyrants who the troublemakers are

    1. It’s just a hygiene measure.

      You are fomenting revolution over a hygiene measure. To keep disease off other people.

      Why don’t you people try not doing politics for a while? See if you aren’t happier.

    2. Oh Oh. Somebody watched the YouTube video of the old man vaping through his mask and declared that it was proof that masks do nothing. What an idoit.

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