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Hidalgo, Turner lambast Abbott...

Hidalgo, Turner lambast Abbott for lifting mask order

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner also blasted Abbott for the decision, saying the governor was trying to appeal to his base by recalling the mandate and allowing businesses to open at 100 percent capacity.

THE LATEST: Abbott announces end to mask mandate

Both decisions take effect March 10.

“Maybe he’s trying to appeal to a group that will find favor with saying ‘take the mask down,'” Turner said. “But what about the rest of us?”

He went on to say he will fight to mandate masks where he can, including in city venues and buildings like libraries and stadiums.

“The people who are vulnerable to this virus, get this virus and end up in the hospital and end up dying, those are the ones I’m speaking for,” Turner said. “He’s the governor. But even the governor should be held accountable, and he should be called out when he makes the wrong decision.”

The most recent COVID-19 numbers are relatively promising but can change at any moment, Hidalgo said.

“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” Hidalgo said during a press conference streamed by KHOU. “But we’re not quite there yet. We’re far, way off from that. This is not the time to give up. This is not the time to promote more infections, more hospitalizations, to promote more deaths for the sake of political expediency.”

She says Abbott’s announcement – which also happens to coincide with Texas Independence Day – was timed to pull pressure off the investigation into the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas and the state’s failed power grid that left millions of Texans in the cold.

“This sure is a good story to distract from them (from the power outage scandal),” Hidalgo said. “You’re putting the health of my community at risk.”

She also urged Harris County residents to continue wearing masks when out and about, which is still the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.