There is a strange phenomenon afoot, one that is sure to generate a lot of inside-out headlines on Politico and will be marked on Fox News by its absence. That phenomenon? States like Texas and Florida, where Republican governors have struggled to prevent schools and local governments from requiring vaccinations, masks or tests, have become, in a way that no one could have predicted, pockets of infection.
Right now, most maps of the nation show Florida as the kind of highly infected, unnaturally colored appendix that can only be treated with an amputation. Texas is more mottled, with only the majority of its many counties glowing in the blood red maximum of community broadcasting. Still, hospitals in several areas are seeing an increase in new patients. So much so that, on Monday, Governor Greg Abbott announced that he was finally forced to “take steps to mitigate ”the increase in COVID-19 cases in Texas.
Is Abbott reducing risk by allowing schools or local governments to institute mask mandates? No. Will you require vaccination before people can participate in the kinds of activities that are most likely to spread disease? Not at all.