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The Hobby poll on ending COVID restrictions

A little while ago I blogged about the recent UH Hobby Center poll regarding the winter freeze and blackouts and responses to them. At the time I mentioned the poll had a separate section about Greg Abbott lifting the COVID restrictions on mask wearing and business capacity. I thought there might be another story that referenced those results, but if there was I never saw it. So, let’s go back and look at that part of the poll ourselves. Here’s the relevant data, and as before the landing page for the poll is here. From the poll data for the questions on the restrictions:

On March 2, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order GA-34, which lifted statewide COVID-19 restrictions. The order rescinded, beginning on March 10, the governor’s previous mandate (GA-29) that Texans wear face coverings (masks) and allowed all businesses to operate at 100% capacity as long as the area in which the businesses are located does not surpass a high hospitalization threshold. This threshold is defined by an area where COVID-19 patients as a percentage of total hospital capacity exceeds 15% for seven consecutive days.

The survey respondents were asked five questions related to Governor Abbott’s executive order regarding the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, and the responses were cross-tabulated with ethnicity/race, age, gender, education, and partisanship.

37% of Texans support Governor Abbott’s decision to end the statewide mask mandate while 56% oppose the decision. The remaining 7% neither support nor oppose the decision.

42% of Texans support Governor Abbott’s decision to allow all businesses to operate at 100% capacity and 49% oppose it. The remaining 9% neither support nor oppose the decision.

When provided with the following information, “According to recent data, the daily counts of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Texas are trending downward, although the rates remain relatively high. The head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical experts say that while caseloads are flattening out, variants of the coronavirus could bring another wave of the pandemic and that mask and business capacity restrictions should stay in place at this point in time,” 37% support Governor Abbott’s decision to end Texas’s statewide mask mandate and to allow businesses to operate at 100% capacity in light of the recommendations of medical experts while 51% oppose the decision. The remaining 12% neither support nor oppose the decision.

[…]

When asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement that Governor Abbott’s ending the mask mandate and allowing businesses to operate at 100% capacity will help restore jobs and return a sense of normalcy to Texans’ lives, 44% of Texans agree with the statement and 37% disagree. The remaining one-fifth (19%) neither agrees nor disagrees with the statement.

[…]

When asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement that Governor Abbott’s ending the statewide mask mandate and allowing businesses to operate at 100% capacity will result in an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and fatalities in Texas, a slight majority (51%) of the respondents agree with the statement compared to slightly less than a third (30%) who disagree with it. The remaining one-fifth (19%) neither agrees nor disagrees with the statement.

I’ve noted the partisan numbers in the sample before, so go review my previous post for that discussion. I’d love to see more polling on the lifting of the mask mandate, and I’d be very interested to see if it changes over time, but I’m not expecting much on that front. We know that Texas’ COVID case rate has remained fairly low despite the dropping of the mandates, a result I mostly attribute to people continuing to wear masks anyway. It may well be that people wind up disagreeing less with Abbott’s actions if this continues, or it may mostly be a proxy for partisan feelings. I’m noting it here in case we do get more data down the line.

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14 Comments

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    We can’t attribute the fairly low rate to “people wearing masks anyway.” The states with masks required have higher rates. Nitwits like Fauci say that perhaps this is due to noncompliance in the mask required states. So, is the rate of mask wearing higher in Texas than in the states with masks required?

    Blindly blithering that masks make a big difference is killing scientific inquiry that can yield helpful measures. In any case, the reality is that the public doesn’t need nor benefit from the government dictating if, when, and how to wear masks. That is the real takeaway.

  2. Manny says:

    Jason, stop the lying or is it stupidity. Things are not simple as you seem to make them out. It could be a simple mind, you, attempting to simplify a complex topic.

    Your constant babbling lies is not going to change minds at this site, in my opinion.

  3. Jason Hochman says:

    Manny, you have misused the terms liar and racist so much that they have no meaning anymore.

  4. Manny says:

    Well, certainly racists and liars like you would say that. You choose what you are Jason wear the labels proudly, you have earned them. By the way, I did not use the word racist, in today’s post. You did.

    I linked a site, it won’t help you, as you are beyond help. How are things in Russia or it Bot land that you live in, Jason?

    https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2021-03-05/mask-use-associated-with-decline-in-coronavirus-cases-deaths-cdc-says

  5. C.L. says:

    My man, Manny – you might as well give up trying to convince Dr. Hochman masks or hand sanitizer or social distancing or vaccines have any effect on the spread of C-19, in the past or in the future. That ship sailed with him a long time ago.

  6. Jason Hochman says:

    C.L., it seems that you and Manny are not able to respond to my question, which is: why do the states with mask requirements have numbers going up; and Texas does not? The post attributes that to people in Texas wearing masks anyway, in spite of no requirement. Yet, Prince Fauci himself, when question by a Congress Man, about this same thing, said that the states with the mask requirements may have higher numbers due to noncompliance.

    So, do you believe then, that mask wearing is greater across the entire state of Texas, and the mask requirement states have less mask wearing???

    The US News article that is linked is date 3/5/21 before Texas got the Mask-less Mandate. (which is in and of itself, a lie. There is no mandate at all. You may wear a mask, or even three or 12 if your desire.) The CDC statement that is referenced in that article admits that they didn’t check for compliance/enforcement of the mask laws, nor did they completely isolate the variable.

    Hand sanitizer? I read on the Chronicle Web site that some of the most popular hand sanitizers have dangerous levels of a carcinogen called benzene. Cancer has more fatalities than Covid, and there is no vaccine for it. Sanitize with caution.

  7. policywonqueria says:

    COMMON CHEMICAL SENSE

    Agreed, don’t use benzene to clean your hands. Don’t breathe gasoline fumes. Wait for your formaldehyde bath until after you have kicked the bucket (also called formalin when dissolved, such was for use as embalming fluid).

    https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/benzene

    INFERENCES REGARDING POLICY EFFECTS/EFFECTIVENESS
    FROM COMPARING JURISDICTIONS

    As for the policy arguments relying on inter-state comparisons, as in all such undertakings, it’s not legit to pick states to fit the preferred conclusion (though it may be legit to compare two states when they are otherwise very similar in relevant respects, with proper caveats stated), and all such efforts to gauge the impact of public policy are beset with the problem of how to control for other variables that *also* affect the dependent variable that is the focus of interest, such as infection spread, or hospitalizations, or deaths. Percaputizing can be used to control for population size (“per capita” or incidence per 10K or 100K) and thus make the dependent variable comparable, but that doesn’t address the problem of multi-causality at all.

    Look up keywords such as *quasi-experiment* for more information, or *comparative research method* more generally. Note that rigorous experimental designs are rarely possible when the independent variable to be evaluated is government policy and the dependent variable is the severity or pervasiveness of a particular problem to be solved or ameliorated through a public intervention.

    For one, it would require random assignment to treatment and control groups, and that’s rarely feasible, whether with government mandates or with benefits, because it would involve – by design – unequal treatment (in the form of selective imposition of a legal duty/or restriction of liberty or the granting of a benefit to only have of people in the study). And this discriminatory treatment would be unrelated to considerations of merit. Allowing research subject to volunteer is often not desirable either because it results in (self-) selection bias.

  8. Manny says:

    To the person known as Lobo, do you think Jason is capable of understanding what you wrote?

    Jason, you did not ask a question. You made a statement that was false for a reason (s) elaborated by PolicyWonk. Thus, Jason, your statement as to why we did not answer your question is a lie. Thus the person who goes by Jason Hochman is a liar.

    I doubt that there is anyone that could ever convince you that you are wrong. Even a none functioning clock is right twice a day. I am suggesting you are worse than the none working clock.

    You, Jason, are like the man that goes round and round once a day throwing paper over his right shoulder.

    One day a person, Manny, asked Jason, throwing paper over his shoulder, why did he do that?

    To which Jason replied, to keep the elephants away.

    Manny, the one asking, said there are no elephants here.

    To which Jason, replied, see it works.

  9. Jason Hochman says:

    Manny, the question is are you capable of understanding what the person AKA Lobo wrote?

    First, he agreed that benzene is a carcinogen.

    Second, he suggests that it is difficult to compare states. I respond to the post, which posits that the lack of an increase in Texas can be attributed to people continuing to wear a mask, without the state mandate in place. I also refer to a statement that Fauci made, to congress, when he was asked this very thing: why did Texas have low numbers, but states that still had mask requirements had increases. Fauci stumbled and mumbled and said, maybe, just perhaps, those states didn’t have good compliance.

    So, he can see, my statement is not a lie. It is based on a statement by the Greatest Expert on Everything in the History of the Universe and Beyond.

    The statement by AKA Lobo goes on to explain that isolating the variable is rarely possible in research on government policies. Again, nothing there proves that I have lied. Once again ,he agrees with me (the variable was not isolating). The fact that it is not easily possible doesn’t make anything that I wrote false. HOWEVER, it is not science if there is no control.

    So, do we just take the word of the rulers and wait for their instructions?

    And, I did ask a question. From my first post: “So, is the rate of mask wearing higher in Texas than in the states with masks required? “the symbol “?” at the end of the sentence is a dead giveaway that it is a question.

    You do realize that we will never have “normal” again, in the sense that the ruling class has shown that if they declare public health emergency, or existential crisis, that everyone will without question obey their diktats. They have proven that they can manipulate the elections through sympathetic media. You do know that Yale University was funded to do a study on the propaganda messages that will persuade everyone to get vaccinated. All of the usual suspects: shaming, guilt, fear, getting our freedom back, everyone is doing it. Yes, NOT A JOKE, MAN, they got funded to test the propaganda messages. Not a lie, either.

  10. Manny says:

    Jason, you are dumber than I thought. Altar to boot.

  11. Manny says:

    A liar to boot.

  12. Jason Hochman says:

    OK, sorry that someone so dumb has better reading comprehension than you do.

  13. policywonqueria says:

    ROLE OF APPIED SOCIAL SCIENCE/BEHAVIORAL RESEARCH

    Re: “Yale University was funded to do a study on the propaganda messages that will persuade everyone to get vaccinated.”

    There is nothing wrong with research to figure out what kind of public messaging works best (or better) to induce/promote good health behavior/good hygiene, except to label it ‘propaganda’. That term refers to politics (not policy science/program evaluation), and has a distinctly negative connotation.

    EMPIRICAL RELATIONSHIPS (CAUSE-EFFECT) VS. ENDS TO BE SERVED

    Also keep in mind the distinction between what works (policy/program effectiveness) and what objectives a proven method/program/intervention is being put to use for.

    Public health is obviously a good thing. So is individual health.

    As is true in many other areas of life, the same technology/means can be employed for nefarious purposes. For example, marketing research can be employed to figure out how to get people to smoke cigarettes and get them hooked, but similar type of behavioral research can also be used to figure out how to do effective smoking cessation and dissuasion programs.

  14. Manny says:

    Jason, I am glad that you admit that you are dumb; that is true.

    But to reading comprehension, sorry you fail, that is a lie.

    Congratulations, Jason, you have been promoted to Master Liar.

    Please start a new job, baiting fish; let us see how long it takes you to become a Master Baiter.