Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andy Brown announced new orders aimed at businesses as the number of cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 rise in central Texas. The governor’s office responded by reminding them that his executive order on mitigation mandates overrule their local orders.
Mayor Adler signed the new orders requiring businesses to post COVID-19 signage. The orders are called “protecting customers and employees and preserving adequate workforce capacity orders.” All businesses are required to post generic mask and vaccine signage when Austin-Travis County is in Stages 3, 4, and 5. Austin is in Stage 5 now. Additional signage like this is also required. The orders come with a $1,000 per day fine for non-compliance. Police officers, the Austin Code Department, and the Austin Fire Marshal all have authority to enforce the orders.
Here’s a thought – how about law enforcement deal with the rise in homicides in Austin instead of taking time to fine a local business for missing signage? There has been a sizable jump in homicides in the last 24-48 months. Austin has experienced an overall rise in crime, especially since the popularity of the defund the police movement hit the Democrat-controlled city.
Nonetheless, the mayor is convinced that if people wear masks and get vaccinated, the spread of the virus will slow. Never mind that he is not following the science here. The Omicron variant will likely hit all of us, vaccinated or not, and most masks have proven to be ineffective as protection from the aggressive variants of the coronavirus. This isn’t following the science, as the political leaders claim to be doing, it is about holding on to power and control of residents.
“We appreciate every business that does their part to keep our community and their customers healthy and safe,” Travis County Judge Andy Brown said. “Today’s orders support local businesses by providing them tools and options to keep their doors open, customers safe and our local economy growing.”
Governor Abbott’s office released a statement saying that his executive orders against mitigation mandates are still in effect and overrule local orders.
— Grace Reader (@GraceReaderTV) January 13, 2022
Meanwhile, Nan Tolson, a spokesperson for Gov. Greg Abbott said, “This municipal order is preempted by Executive Orders GA-38, GA-39 and GA-40 — all of which remain in full effect. Any business would be within its legal rights to ignore this municipal order.”
Abbott signed into law an executive order that does not allow local government-issued mask mandates or business restrictions. That executive order has been in place since July of last year.
It’s about personal responsibility and freedom versus local leaders and their power grabs using COVID-19 theatre. Abbott protects businesses and residents against government mandates while still encouraging individuals to get vaccinated and take personal safety precautions against the virus. When push comes to shove, the governor holds the upper hand.
“The Governor’s executive orders, again having the full force and effect of law, are enforceable by state and local law enforcement, and our office continues working with the Office of the Attorney General to protect the rights and freedoms of all Texans,” Tolson said. “The best defense against this virus is the COVID vaccines, and we continue to strongly encourage all eligible Texans to get vaccinated.”
Mayor Adler pays lip service to the politics of the pandemic. Remember, though, this is the same guy who was caught filming a video telling Austin residents to stay home while he was on vacation in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in December 2020. He complains about the politics of the pandemic yet he feels entitled to do as he pleases, something he denies local business of doing. He is the worst kind of progressive hypocrite.
Like orders from local politicians in other Texas cities, look for this latest from Austin-Travis County to receive a legal challenge in court. The governor’s office has been successful with cases that make it to the Texas Supreme Court. We’ll see how this one does when the time comes.