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    Biden Calls State Decisions to End Mask Mandates ‘Neanderthal Thinking’

    Beneath the brand new orders in Texas and Mississippi, non-public companies can keep masks necessities. Many appeared on Wednesday to do exactly that, with Goal and Macy’s among the many largest to say face coverings would stay obligatory in Texas shops. Masks will likely be elective for patrons in H-E-B, a popular grocery store in Texas.

    Beneath Mississippi’s order, cities and counties can nonetheless impose native masks mandates, whereas in Texas, a jurisdiction can impose restrictions provided that Covid-19 hospitalizations rise above a sure degree. And even then, individuals can’t be penalized by native governments for not sporting masks.

    Dr. Mary Carol Miller, a doctor at Greenwood Leflore Hospital within the Mississippi Delta, stated that even a flippantly enforced statewide masks order was useful, sending the message that the virus was nonetheless circulating and that masks had been the perfect safety. With out the order, she noticed weeks forward of extra illness, hospitalizations and deaths in part of the nation the place the pandemic has already been devastating.

    “The sunshine’s there on the very finish of the tunnel, and now we’ve made the tunnel longer,” Dr. Miller stated. “It’s silly. It’s past silly.”

    In Texas, after an onslaught of challenges, from the brutal winter storm to widespread energy failures to water outages throughout the state, some noticed one other issue at work within the reopening debate: politics.

    “It’s fairly apparent to individuals who listen that that is only a transfer to vary the topic from the infrastructure failures that we simply noticed,” stated Kaitlyn Urenda-Culpepper, an El Pasoan now residing in Dallas, echoing a generally heard sentiment throughout the state.

    However Ms. Urenda-Culpepper, whose mom died from Covid-19 in July, acknowledged that the governor had the facility to make such choices, as irritating and enraging as they may be. And provided that, there was no alternative however to hope for the perfect.

    “I don’t need him to be unsuitable,” she stated. “However clearly for the larger good of the individuals, I’m like, ‘Man, you higher be proper and never price us tens of hundreds extra individuals.’”

    Maria Jimenez Moya reported from Houston, Campbell Robertson from Pittsburgh, Erin Coulehan from El Paso and James Dobbins from San Antonio. David Montgomery contributed reporting from Austin, Texas, Marina Trahan Martinez from Dallas and Ellen Ann Fentress from Jackson, Miss.

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