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Fauci: Texas inviting another virus surge by lifting mask mandate

Fauci: Texas inviting another virus surge by lifting mask mandate
© getty: Anthony Fauci

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciCDC director: Vaccinated adolescents can remove masks outdoors at summer camps The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Overnight Health Care: Biden backs COVID-19 vaccine patent waivers | Moderna reports positive early results for booster shots against COVID-19 variants | Federal judge vacates CDC's eviction moratorium MOREPresident BidenJoe BidenAtlanta mayor won't run for reelection South Carolina governor to end pandemic unemployment benefits in June Airplane pollution set to soar with post-pandemic travel boom MORE's chief medical adviser, suggested Wednesday that Texas officials are inviting another surge of the coronavirus by lifting the state’s mask mandate.

Texas officially repealed its mask mandate on Wednesday and allowed businesses to reopen at full capacity. The changes came even as public health experts cautioned against reopening too soon, despite declining cases.

During a CNN interview, Fauci called Texas’s move a “concern.”

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“We understand people’s need to get back to normal, and we’re going in that direction. But when you start doing things like completely putting aside all public health measures as if you’re turning a light switch off, that's quite risky,” Fauci said. “We don't want to see another surge, and that's inviting one when you do that.”

More than a dozen states currently do not have a mask mandate in effect, though Texas is now the largest without rules for face coverings.

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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) unveiled similar restrictions last Tuesday.

Fauci last week called the states’ moves “inexplicable” and suggested that it could lead to another surge.

“What we don't need right now is another surge, so just pulling back on all of the public health guidelines that we know work, and if you take a look at the curve we know it works, it just is inexplicable why you would want to pull back now,” Fauci told CNN last Wednesday.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) defended his decision against bipartisan criticism last week, saying that lifting the mask mandate “isn’t going to make that big of a change in the state of Texas.”

“Also, people in Texas will continue to wear a mask even though there’s not a state mandate,” he said. "We’re just in a situation now where government mandates are not needed because Texans do know best practices.”