DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Just hours after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott addressed a conference in Dallas Wednesday, Mayor Eric Johnson said he hopes the governor is putting public health over politics when it comes to orders regarding COVID-19.
Despite a continuing surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations throughout the state and nation, Abbott said he has no plans for any statewide shutdowns or mask mandates.
One of Abbott’s recent orders bans any mask mandates at public schools in Texas. The order has been in the spotlight recently due to students making their way back to school as summer vacations end.
Dallas’ mayor spoke about Abbott’s COVID-19 orders and that his advice is to follow guidance from health experts.
“What I hope is that the governor puts public health first when he’s issuing those orders,” Johnson said. “… This is a time when as an elected leader, the level of the governor of Texas, you have to rise above political consideration… We’re talking about a mass loss of life.”
“My advice and encouragement to him is do what the doctors are telling you needs to be done,” he added. “… I would hope that his orders are being issued in accordance with public health and not with politics.”
Speaking at the Asian American Hotel Owners Association’s national convention in Dallas, Abbott reaffirmed, “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.”
“Lockdowns are wrong during a pandemic,” Abbott said.
A spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has been seen throughout the U.S. due to the emergence of the highly contagious delta variant. Abbott continued to encourage residents to get the vaccine.
Johnson stressed his concerns with residents who are unvaccinated and why he still wears a face mask.
“It’s because I actually care about everyone in this city, everyone in this state, and I am concerned about the unvaccinated,” Johnson said. “It really is an epidemic of the unvaccinated at this point.”
“It makes sense to me to wear a mask, even though I’m fully vaccinated, and it makes sense to me to get vaccinated as quickly as possible,” he added.