Texas' local officials blast Gov. Greg Abbott for "irresponsible action" of lifting coronavirus restrictions

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Pedestrians wearing masks to protect against COVID-19 in downtown Austin in June. Gov. Greg Abbott drew ire Tuesday after announcing that he would lift a statewide mask mandate while coronavirus infections continue. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

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Mayors and county judges in some of Texas’ largest urban areas criticized Gov. Greg Abbott over his decision to lift the statewide face mask mandate next week, saying it contradicts health officials’ advice as infections continue to spread throughout the state, which averaged over 200 reported deaths a day over the last week.

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, a fellow Republican, called Abbott’s order “premature” and asked him to allow more people to get the vaccine.