Is California Better Than Texas? Democrats Say Yes

Matt Lillywhite

Many Democrats have criticized Gov. Abbott for being reckless and authoritarian as he didn't impose a harsh lockdown on the state. Apparently, Texas should be more like California. However, Texas has less deaths per capita during the Covid-19 pandemic than many Democratic states.

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Over the past few months, Texan Republicans have been strongly criticized and condemned by democrats around the country. Some politicians (such as Gavin Newsom) called the lifting of restrictions "reckless," while others said the policies would put pressure on the local hospitals.

But after several months, we can safely say that lifting restrictions on businesses and restaurants was the right thing to do. As Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said during an interview with CNBC:

"People were not transmitting it when they went to restaurants or businesses. The lead area of transmission at the time was actually in the home setting - where people weren't wearing a mask."

So, by the Governors logic, imposing restrictions on businesses (but not home settings) would be absolutely ridiculous and would obviously go against what the data said at the time. Therefore, the decision to lift restrictions was very rational and driven by the science.

It's no secret that Texans pride themselves on freedom. It's a state that strongly values individual liberty and responsibility. So if anyone was going to lead the pack and end the pandemic restrictions, Texas would always be first in line. Quoting the Texas Tribune:

"More than a month has passed since Gov. Greg Abbott ended virtually all statewide restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. Nationwide, new coronavirus cases are on the rise as new variants of the virus spread. And about four-fifths of Texans are not yet fully vaccinated. But at least for now, the most dire predictions of a new major wave of cases in Texas have not come true."

Across the country, local governments in Democratic states are reimposing restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19. For example, mask mandates are back in California. And over in New York, vaccination is becoming mandatory for entry into cafes, stores, and many other venues.

Many Democratic states have higher death tolls per capita than Texas - despite having much stricter restrictions. So, we need to question if the mandates and lockdowns had a worthwhile impact on the spread of Covid-19. After all, data shows that shutting down the economy didn't have as much of an impact on Covid-19 case numbers as initially hoped. Therefore, the strategy adopted by Texas may have been the best. Quoting VOX:

"Florida and Texas, despite much criticism of their laissez-faire approaches, rank right in the middle among states (26th and 24th, respectively) in the number of deaths per 100,000 people. California fared only marginally better, sitting at 30th."

According to Forbes, "a team of researchers from the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy found states that imposed shelter-in-place orders, mandatory business closures and other tight restrictions didn't see a significant difference in the number of coronavirus infections or deaths during the virus' first U.S. surge last spring."

Many states are curbing the freedoms of citizens while not gaining much in return. The death counts per capita in states that locked down are higher than Texas, Florida, and other states that remained (mostly) open. Plus, vaccine mandates are creating lots of tension in minority communities. After all, African-Americans are the racial group most likely to be vaccine-hesitant, according to data published by NPR.

Do you think libertarian Republican policies in Texas regarding lockdowns and mask mandates were extremely effective? Or would the Democrats make Texas an authoritarian state if they had a chance? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. Therefore, it should not be considered professional health advice. Please consult a doctor before getting vaccinated or making any other significant decision regarding your health.

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