[Ed. – In all the hype and argument, one thing is missing: definitive evidence that wearing the masks available to most Americans makes a difference to the rate of spread. Moreover, the numbers retailed to the public never mean that hospitalized cases are actually hospitalized because of COVID-19. Some number of them are hospitalized for other reasons but test positive for COVID-19. The sheriffs — and citizens — aren’t just being recalcitrant.]
A growing number of sheriffs in Texas say they are refusing to follow a recent executive order requiring masks in public. Governor Greg Abbott’s mandate aims to slow the spread of coronavirus, as cases in the state soared past 200,000 on Tuesday.
Police officials in at least nine counties — including Denton, Houston, Montgomery, Gillespie, Upshur, Kerr, Gregg, Nacogdoches and Panola — said they will not impose the ruling with verbal or written citations. Some counties cited staffing issues, while others said the language in the order makes it impossible to police.
Abbott, a Republican who had previously relaxed coronavirus lockdown measures and did not encourage the use of face masks, reversed his course last week to make masks mandatory statewide and limit gatherings of more than 10 people.