EXCLUSIVE: Abbott responds to criticism about order to rescind statewide mask mandate

HOUSTON – President Joe Biden had sharp words Wednesday about Gov. Greg Abbott’s plans to reopen Texas and do away with the statewide mask mandate.

“I think it’s a big mistake,” said Biden. “The last thing we need is neanderthal thinking that in the meantime, everything is fine. Take off your mask, forget it. It still matters.”

On Tuesday, Abbott announced the state will reopen to 100% capacity on March 10.

“What President Biden is doing in Texas today is recklessly endangering the lives of Texans, as we are trying to provide them with vaccines,” Abbott told KPRC 2 in an exclusive interview.

Abbott made reference to a recent investigation by Telemundo that stated more than 100 migrants were released by border patrol after testing positive for COVID-19.

“President Biden’s administration itself is exposing Texans and Americans to COVID-19 through illegal immigrants that they are allowing to come into the state of Texas, who are positive for COVID-19 and being released into Texas communities,” Abbott said.

Other local leaders including Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo were also critical of the Governor’s decision to re-open the state and get rid of the mask mandate.

“Right now, the numbers don’t pan out to where we can stop wearing our masks, where we can stop avoiding gatherings, where we can stop avoiding crowds,” she said. “So we have to keep at it.”

Abbott, however, also noted that the state is setting an all-time record of vaccines administered in Texas on Wednesday.

”All the numbers are going in the right direction. Today we had the lowest number of hospitalizations that we’ve had, and the lowest positivity rate that we’ve had in more than four months, the most number of people have been vaccinated,” he said.

Here is the full exclusive interview with Gov. Greg Abbott:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott answered questions about why he decided to reopen the state and end the mask mandate.

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