Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Memorial Hermann CEO begs for Abbott to reconsider maskless mandate

He won’t listen, but maybe some of the people who would have stopped wearing their masks will.

On March 2, Gov. Greg Abbott announced the issuance of a new executive order, which “re-opens” Texas. The new order, which takes effect Wednesday, March 10, also terminates the statewide mask mandate.

As a health system, we respect the governor and recognize that he has an incredibly difficult job right now; however, we disagree with the terms and the timing of this new order, and strongly encourage him to reconsider this decision.

[…]

Additionally, we are deeply concerned about the timing of this decision, especially as we have just learned that all of the major new COVID-19 variants, which seem to be more dangerous and more transmissible, have now been identified in Houston; in fact, we are the first major U.S. city to confirm that all of these new variants are active in our community. Even more, for the first time in many weeks, the number of new cases reported around the world is higher than it was a week ago. Finally, we are gravely concerned that upcoming Spring Break gatherings will result in surges similar to those caused by holiday get-togethers, or worse.

The pandemic is not over, and our safety measures should not be, either. We hope that by continuing to practice the proven safety measures and encouraging others to do so as well — and as more and more people in the greater Houston area become vaccinated — we can happily support lifting masking restrictions in the future, maybe even as soon as several months from now. But we feel that issuing this order at this time, considering the current environment, is premature. In the greater Houston area, it is clear that COVID-19 is not yet under community control.

You may think this is not particularly remarkable, but hospital bigwigs have tried very hard to stay out of political fights surrounding COVID:

And as for that mention about COVID variants in Houston, consider this:

Read that whole thread and maybe be a little scared. Definitely keep your mask on, and stay away from any business or other indoor location that doesn’t require masks. If we truly are on our own, we’ve got to take this a lot more seriously than Greg Abbott does.

Related Posts:

13 Comments

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    Yesterday, March 8th, marks the one year anniversary of Lyin’ Fauci comin’ on my TV set, and air quoting so hard I could feel the breeze all the way here, as he said, “the mask might make you “””FEEL””” better, and might even “”””BLOCK A DROPLET”””” but there is no reason healthy people should wear a mask.” He then went on to say that in fact, if you pull the mask off and on every time you take a drink, you might have some schmaltz on your finger which could get on your face and then you could inhale it and have a disaster.

    This is not a lie. It was on the TV set.

    The CEO of Memorial Hermann should call out Fauci, who is, I’m sure, getting ready to throw out the first pitch in a few weeks.

  2. Manny says:

    Jason, what you wrote is not a lie. I am not a fan of Fauci because he lacked a backbone at that time. He later made an excuse that it was so that people would not go out and buy masks. I knew or at least was fairly certain that he was wrong at that time about the use of masks.

    But, I am not sure what his actions have to do with having people wear masks. Masks help to save lives.

    Would you want all laws that protect bike riders to be rescinded? Especially the ones that inconvenient car drivers?

    Would you want smoking to be allowed in all public places?

    Would you want seat belts to be a choice and not a requirement?

    Would you want all speed limit restrictions removed?

    Would you remove the drinking and driving laws?

  3. Jason Hochman says:

    Manny, when Fauci said that, he was being honest. Now, I hear people saying that you can wear your mask to the bar, and lift it up every time you take a drink! How much schmaltz can that put on your face?

    Recently, Fauci told us that it is “common sense” that two masks are better than one. If it is common sense why did the greatest mind in infectious disease wait months to tell us that? Then, he walked it back, and said that there are no data supporting two masks. He’s at best a dimwit, at worst, a liar. Certainly he should never have been put back on the task force by Biden.

    Your examples are though provoking, however, there are no strong data supporting wearing a mask…I know you might disagree, but look at the linked Chronicle article in the recent post, and you will see how “the Science” is being manipulated. Also, you can look and see that states or countries with mask laws vs. no mask laws have had similar numbers.

    What is the CDC recommendation that you can gather with one other household, with masks, etc. Have you been following that? Nobody I know does that. Now the bars are packed and not wearing a mask (only to walk in the door).

    I can’t stop seeing this as all a political play, not science, not health and safety. The March 10th expiration of Abbott’s order is 50 days into the Biden reign. If you remember, Biden’s biggest Covid plan was that we can have a “100 day mask challenge.” Abbott simply doesn’t want Biden to take credit for any reductions in the pandemic–he can say we didn’t have a mask law, but look, we are doing OK. Biden (or rather the dark forces behind him) made this a topic to divert from the Cuomo crisis, not only did he feed senior citizens into the buzz saw of his own private Treblinka, he also molested women. Cuomo and Gavin Newsome both are looking at impeachment or recall.

    I am also angry that they lied to us. Two weeks to flatten the curve? The idea was never to stop all cases or all deaths. And, we know that you have a 99.996% chance to survive Covid.

    They promised that if we gave up the holidays this year, next year we could all get together. Guess what. My aunt missed the holidays and now she has pulmonary fibrosis (totally unrelated to covid). We missed the holidays forever

    Speaking of your examples, there is another example of how it’s all politics. Seat belt laws got put on the books, at the same time, helmet laws went away. Not very consistent with safety, is it?

  4. C.L. says:

    Fauci must haunt your fever dreams.

  5. C.L. says:

    Oh yeah, FYI – there is a motorcycle helmet law in the State of Texas, but just like the laws surrounding the PUC and ERCOT and winterizing power plants, it’s effectively unenforced and useless.

  6. Jason Hochman says:

    C.L. the helmet law has so many exceptions that it is almost no law at all. First, it applies to only motorcycles with over 40cc displacement. That includes motorcycles, but eliminates most scooters or street legal mopeds. Next, adults are exempt, (I can’t remember if the age is 18 or 21), if they have taken a safety course or have health insurance. The safety class is now required to get a license and health insurance is mostly required too. So most adult riders are exempt from wearing a helmet. Finally, it is not a primary offense, so a rider can’t be stopped for not wearing a helmet just to check for health insurance or class completion.

  7. Manny says:

    Jason, you ignore science to promote your hate of masks.

    There is plenty of evidence that masks save lives. I have pointed out studies to you.

    Abbott passed his maskless order and it was Biden to help Cumo, what do you eat, drink, or smoke Jason?

    Globally, about 3.4% of reported COVID-19 cases have died. By comparison, seasonal flu generally kills far fewer than 1% of those infected.

    That percentage is death, but being in a hospital with a tube stuck down your throat is not what people would consider a vacation.

    Over 500,000 Americans died because of the covid.

    Slightly more than 1,000 death per year in the US, why all the stupid laws to protect bicyclists?

    About 15,000 people die each year because of drunk drivers, why have all those stupid criminal laws?

    Seat belts save about 15,000 people a year, why all those stupid seat belt laws?

    About 50,000 lives are saved by smoking laws, why have such stupid laws.

    Stop your whining, Jason, suck it up, and act like an American that cares for others.

  8. Bill Daniels says:

    But, I am not sure what his actions have to do with having people wear masks. Masks help to save lives.

    A: Very doubtful/

    Would you want all laws that protect bike riders to be rescinded? Especially the ones that inconvenient car drivers?

    Yes! Bicycles should be on the sidewalk, not on the road with 3 ton vehicles that move 5 times faster than a bike. We don’t allow people to drive their riding lawnmowers on the roads, as a primary form of transportation…..why not? A: Same reason bikes should be disallowed. It’s dangerous for the bicyclist AND the motorist.

    Would you want smoking to be allowed in all public places?

    Personally, I don’t smoke, so I actually benefit from no smoking laws, but I’d prefer to just let the individual businesses make that choice of whether to allow smoking or not…..just like mask wearing.

    Would you want seat belts to be a choice and not a requirement?

    Hell yes!

    Would you want all speed limit restrictions removed?

    Yes. The only restriction would be, don’t drive too fast for conditions. If you rear end a slower driver, you just drove too fast for conditions. That’s a ticket.

    Would you remove the drinking and driving laws?

    Mixed answer. I’d make having open containers perfectly legal, just as it was for decades. I’d make actually drinking alcohol in a vehicle perfectly legal, just as it was for decades. I’d keep the proscription on actually driving drunk, but I’d increase the limit back to .1, vs. the current .08. And I would have a two tier penalty structure, a very mild, slap on the wrist type punishment for people who didn’t cause any damage or injury, and a separate, even harsher punishment than we have now, for people caught DWI who caused an actual accident with damage and/or injuries/death.

  9. Lobo says:

    Autobahn Fahrvergnügen & Verfassungschutz

    RE: Would you want all speed limit restrictions removed? – Yes.

    Bill: Seems like you should deport yourself to Germany to relish that particular freedom there. No passing on the right, though.

    My favorite very simpatico Bavarian Mädel has more here:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jECjkKfdlF8 (German Girl in America on driving in the two countries)

    THE WATCHWARD IS SOZIAL, AS DISTINGUISHED FROM ASOZIAL

    With that said, let’s also caution that they probably won’t want you there ’cause they are all very social. They all Socialists, pretty much. Even Angela “die Mutti” Merkel. Even the Socialists are social. Remember that Bismarck started the social welfare state thing in the last millennium.

    So, based on your public-zone track record and positioning on the spectrum, they might put on the extreme-Right watchlist. Their reasoning: Democracy must defend itself.

    No swastikas either. That’s unlawful.

    See recent story: “German state vs. the far-right AfD: An unending duel. The domestic intelligence service has been examining how dangerous the Alternative for Germany is since 2019. Now the nationalist party will be placed under observation. dw aka Deutsche Welle (March 4, 2021)(entire article in English).

    AfD = Alternative für Deutschland, is a German political party that is nationalistj/anti-EU, right-wing populist, anti-immigrant.

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    Wolf,

    You want to know what the problem with Germany is? All the real men in Germany got killed in WWII. Not entirely kidding. But they are a cautionary tale for us. After WWII, Germans were taught to hate themselves, hate their culture. This is why they elected an old commie East German like Merkel, some kind of group self hate thing. Germans think they deserve to be overrun with Muslims, because of their original sin. They think they deserve the horrors of socialism because they have been taught that they are bad people.

    My ex girlfriend was of German ancestry. We entertained a relative from the old country, who said she identified as European, not really as German. She lacked the nationalist pride of being German. It was really quite sad.

    Fast forward to America, and the current fixation with teaching people to hate themselves, and hate each other (critical race theory). We’re going down the path Germany has gone through. When you teach your own people to hate themselves, that’s pretty much the end of your culture and success as a society.

    Wolf, you better hope your side loses this ideological war, lest our kids and grandkids end up in shitty Soviet block style tenement housing that stinks of boiled cabbage and sweat. Maybe you think your kids, if they believe in this crap enough, will be the privileged party members, who live well and weekend at their dachas?

    Pro tip: They won’t. They’ll be just like the White farmers of Rhodesia and South Africa……persecuted and hunted.

  11. Manny says:

    I will address only one of your responses, Bill.

    Bill; “I would have a two tier penalty structure, a very mild, slap on the wrist type punishment for people who didn’t cause any damage or injury, and a separate, even harsher punishment than we have now, for people caught DWI who caused an actual accident with damage and/or injuries/death.”

    Why a harsher punishment if they actually cause harm? If that is the case then if someone not wearing a mask and has covid causes harm should they face long-term prison? I will assume that you ain’t like the other fascists that want to protect the maskless.

  12. Lobo says:

    WHO HAS THE PROBLEM?

    On making a stink about “boiled cabbage and sweat” & ruminations about Germany today

    You are so negative, Bill. While I am still waiting for Manny to call you out for your anti-Kraut slurs and/or your praise for the Kameraden (comrades, generically) fallen for the Fatherland, not to mention for their Fuehrer, allow me to weigh in on the post-colonial aspects, and the competing economic theories.

    POST-APARTHEID GERMANS IN AFRICA

    Speaking of white farmers in South Africa, now Namibia, I recently had the pleasure of watching this amiable German pair giving visitors a tour of their farm.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df07wQXd4kI (At a Namibian farm | Easy German 140 | with subtitles in both German and English)

    Bonus Aggies & Longhorn info: They are cleared to export their open-range hormone-free and presumably happier-pre-mortem beef to the EU.

    They even have a German Martin Luther (not King) boarding school for black kids in Namibia. German is useful to them in the local economy because the country is a popular destination for Germans with Reise- and Wanderlust. While the natives speak numerous native/tribal languages, English is the official language and lingua franca, allowing all to communicate. The majority of the white natives speak Afrikaans, which is not that much different from German (Plattdeutsch or Plauttdietsch in Mexico, which I mentioned recently in connection with the Mennonite way of life and their pacifism-driven peregrinations around the world).

    WELLFARE, NOT WARFARE

    Frankly, Bill, the contemporary Germans are doing just fine, whether in Africa or in what is left of the erstwhile Vaterland/Lebensraum in Europe. Prussia is no more, and nationalism is so passé. As for the legacy of the National-Socialism (ie, Nazism), they just kept the Socialism part: Social Democracy. That’s worked much better for them.

    To put in a nutshell: It’s now “Wohlstand über Alles!” Has been for decades.

    Since Wohlstand is an alien concept on these shores, there is really no fitting English translation: It’s sort of a melange of welfare, comfort, absence of want, security, and quality of life. Welfare, of course, is considered a bad thing here. Same for the common good (Gemeinwohl).

    Bill, what you call “my side” has already won. They relish it and are proud of their collective comeback as a successful member of the EU. Have you heard of the Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle) and the Soziale Marktwirtschaft (social market economy)?

    Also, as an aside, the Gastarbeiter (guest workers) imported from Turkey helped them make it all happen. In the post-war reconstruction area, there was a labor shortage. Most of the US/NATO occupation troops are since gone, but the Turks are still there. Several millions of them. Precise number is unknown because the German census does not collect data on ethnicity.

    The Germans work hard but they also have several weeks of paid vacations by law, so they travel a lot, spreading their hard-earned Euros (no longer Deutschmarks) around, which helps the economies of the Southern EU members and many third-world countries.

    Spain was the first to get a huge economic boost from sun-and-beach seeking German holidaymakers once they rejoined civilization after the dark ages under the yoke of Francisco Franco (1892-1975), victor of the Spanish Civil War, when package-holidays with charter flights became a thing. As for the (un)civil war in the peninsula, you might recall that Papa Hemmingway was there and lived to tell the tales: For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). — Does that ring a bell? A Farewell to Arms? Old Man and the Sea? — Standard college fare, at least in cliffnotes packaging. Things have changed for the better, and the Germans played a role in it, for the benefit of both sides, against the historical background of Hitler having helped Franco bomb his own people in a blitzkrieg trial run at Guernica.

    DEUTSCHLAND AS A DISASTER EVACUTION DESTINATION ?

    I have been to Germany a number of times over the decades and have been watching a lot of YouTube vids lately to get a better feel for the expat experience in the contemporary long-again-reunified Germany. The Trumpsters’ wall fetishism must be as hard for the Germans to comprehend as their obsession with Socialism. It was once “Tear down this wall” in the era of Reagan and Gorby.

    You know, developing a trans-Atlantic Plan B may not be such a bad idea, what with all the recent natural and man-made disasters in Texas, and the slide into third-world political and social conditions.

    Not to mention that they have reliable electricity and heating in the winter over there, even though it’s much colder even in a normal winter than what we experience here with the arctic vortex gone south. The Germans and their Nordic kin may be perceived as cold, but at least they know how to keep themselves warm. What happened at Stalingrad happened long ago. Stuff they may or may not learn in school. Almost no one remembers WW II because almost everybody is dead. That includes the so-called “ewig Gestrigen” (those who are forever stuck in the past), another concept that is hard to translate, but has — alas — an analogue in contemporary American political culture.

  13. Jason Hochman says:

    I am not aware of any laws that protect bicyclists, other than regular traffic laws.

    In general, bikes don’t belong on sidewalks, although that is one advantage of them. For example, when Hazard Street is blocked I can hop onto the sidewalk and roll around the construction, and back onto the road in the next block.