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Texas Gov. Greg

(LifeSiteNews) – Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott declared last week that mask mandates will not return to the Lone Star State on his watch amid a resurgence of mandates in various localities across America.

In recent days, some schools, hospitals, and businesses have resumed mask mandates, citing rising cases from new COVID variants against which the government admits current vaccines may be ineffective. The news has prompted speculation as to whether a return to broader lockdowns is forthcoming.

“There will be NO mask mandates in Texas,” Abbott announced on August 24.

“Governor Abbott issued executive orders to prevent local governments from encroaching on Texans’ individual liberties,” the governor’s office said in a press release earlier this month. “These executive orders protect Texans from mask and vaccine mandates, as well as school and business closures.”

“Working with the Texas Legislature, Governor Abbott signed into law includes key measures to protect individual liberties by prohibiting” government vaccine mandates, mask mandates, and school or business closures, the release added.

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government recommended wearing face coverings in the presence of others, advice that many states and localities used to impose mask mandates on a wide range of public gatherings. But evidence has long since shown that masking was largely ineffective at limiting the spread of the virus.

Among that evidence is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC’s) September 2020 admission that masks cannot be counted on to keep out COVID when spending 15 minutes or longer within six feet of someone, and a May 2020 study published by the peer-reviewed CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases that “did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.”

In May 2021, another study found that, though mandates were largely followed, that usage did not yield the expected benefits. “Mask mandates and use (were) not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among U.S. states” from March 2020 to March 2021. In fact, the researchers found the results to be a net negative, with masks increasing “dehydration … headaches and sweating and decreas[ing] cognitive precision,” and interfering with communication, as well as impairing social learning among children.

More than 170 studies have found that masks have been ineffective at stopping COVID while instead being harmful, especially to children.