Texas had zero COVID-related deaths on Sunday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) says, crediting the state’s citizens for taking steps to protect themselves, even though they’re not being forced to do so by government mandates.
Cheering the news via a late-night Sunday tweet, Gov. Abbott announced that Sunday was the first day with no COVID deaths since March, 2020, when tracking began:
Today Texas reported:
* 0 Covid related deaths--the only time that's happened since data was tracked in March, 2020.
* the fewest Covid cases in over 13 months
* the lowest 7-day Covid positivity rate ever
* the lowest Covid hospitalizations in 11 months.
On March 2, 2021, Gov. Abbott ended his state’s mask mandate and lifted all coronavirus restrictions – a move condemned at the time by President Joe Biden as “a big mistake” and “Neanderthal thinking”:
"Texas: I think it's a big mistake. We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because the way in which we are able to get vaccines in people's arms. The last thing, the last thing, we need is Neanderthal thinking in the meantime."
On Friday, Gov. Abbott issued a statement announcing that over 20 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in his state. In it, Abbott encouraged Texans to get vaccinations – but, promised that doing so “will always remain voluntary”:
"With over 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered to date and over 50% of eligible Texans vaccinated with at least one dose, the Lone Star State has achieved an incredible milestone in our fight against this virus."
"And with Texans aged 12-15 now eligible for the vaccine, there's even more we must do to get more shots in arms and keep our communities safe. Vaccines are the most effective defense against the spread of COVID-19, and I continue to urge all eligible Texans to get the vaccine.
“The COVID-19 vaccine will always remain voluntary and never forced in Texas, but it is up to all of us to ensure that we defeat this virus — which is why it is so important for Texans to seek out these safe and effective shots. Texans can visit covidvaccine.texas.gov to find a vaccine a provider near them."