Texas Gov. Abbott says he won’t impose lockdowns or mask mandates even though the state is reporting the 2nd-highest COVID-19 cases in the US

Texas Governor Greg Abbot points at the camera with a stern expression
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed Article X of the state budget, effectively defunding the entire legislature. Eric Gay/AP
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that lockdowns during a pandemic “are wrong.”
  • Abbott said he will not impose any shutdowns or mask mandates even though COVID-19 cases are rising in the state.
  • Abbott made the comments during a speech at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association’s National Convention in Dallas, CBS DFW reported.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Wednesday that lockdowns during a pandemic “are wrong” and reiterated he won’t impose any shutdowns or mask mandates even as the Lone Star State has seen the second-most new COVID-19 cases in the US in the last week.

“Another thing that has propelled business operations in Texas for you as well as others across the state is that Texas has remained open for business during the course of the pandemic,” Abbott said during a speech at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association’s National Convention in Dallas, CBS DFW reported.

The Republican governor added, “One thing that we know is that safe practices are important. That said, one thing that we learned along the way is lockdowns are wrong during the course of a pandemic.”

Abbott encouraged those who are unvaccinated to get the potentially life-saving COVID-19 vaccine but said he will not order any coronavirus-related restrictions.

“Going forward, in Texas there will not be any government-imposed shutdowns or mask mandates. Everyone already knows what to do. Everyone can voluntarily implement the mandates that are safest for them, their families and their businesses,” said Abbott, according to the news outlet.

A White House official said Tuesday that a third of all US coronavirus cases in the past week came from Texas and Florida.

In the last seven days, Florida reported 123,400 new COVID-19 cases, while Texas recorded the second-highest number of new cases in the US at 64,753, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.