Two Republican governors have made it clear that they want their states to move past the era of coronavirus mandates.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey told Fox News this week that they do not feel the need for pandemic-related restrictions in their states any longer.
“One of the frustrations of the American people over this past year has been the constantly changing goal post. Certainly, this is a novel virus and guidance has evolved as we have learned more, but that is just it: we have learned more,” Ivey said.
“We have been at this for more than a year now, and we have simply got to move forward. Endless government mandates are not the answer,” she added.
BREAKING: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says the statewide mask mandate will expire on Friday and a new Safer Apart health order will take effect.
— #WVTM13 (@WVTM13) April 7, 2021
Abbott noted the impact strict guidelines had on Texas businesses and communities, while also acknowledging that many people are still concerned about the pandemic.
“The fact is, Texas now has the tools and knowledge to combat COVID while also allowing Texans and businesses to make their own decisions,” he said.
“It is clear from the recoveries, the vaccinations, the reduced hospitalizations, and the safe practices that Texans are using, that we’re ready to return to normal life and unleash the full might of the state’s economy.”
These conservative leaders have adopted a drastically different tone than President Joe Biden, who defined July 4 as his goal for when people can have a small family barbecue.
“Next week, I’ll be laying out the path ahead to continue our fight against COVID-19, to get us to July 4th,” Biden said Tuesday, U.S. News reported.
“This is our target date to get life in America closer to normal and begin to celebrate our independence from the virus together with our friends and our loved ones as we celebrate Independence Day.”
Many red states like Texas and Alabama have already lifted their mask mandates, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention only announcing Tuesday that fully vaccinated Americans can go outside without a facial covering.
It’s vital that Texans who received the 1st dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, go back for the 2nd dose.
With both doses, you are better protected against #COVID19.
I encourage all who want to get a vaccine to get one.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 27, 2021
Biden has called the decision by states to not have a mask requirement “neanderthal thinking,” showing a clear dichotomy between national and some state-level strategies.
President Biden said allowing Mississippians to decide how to protect themselves is “neanderthal thinking.”
Mississippians don’t need handlers. As numbers drop, they can assess their choices and listen to experts. I guess I just think we should trust Americans, not insult them.
— Tate Reeves (@tatereeves) March 3, 2021
As the pandemic nears its end with more Americans getting vaccinated and cases on the decline in most states, there is going to be increasing tension when it comes to getting back to normal.
When the CDC says you don’t have to wear a mask outside if you’re fully vaccinated and not in a crowd. pic.twitter.com/4XqtkZGjsI
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 27, 2021
Some people will likely continue to wear masks and enforce strict guidelines on themselves long after their area is reopened, whereas others will go back to their pre-COVID ways.
The coronavirus pandemic further divided Americans and their leaders in terms of how they viewed government control and guidance, and these divisions will become clearer in the coming months.