“I had a pretty strong visceral reaction — like PTSD,” said Dr. Matt Dacso, an internist at the University of Texas Medical Branch. “I can think of no other word but incomprehensible… Everybody is hurting, but gosh, man. The masks were doing a lot for us.”
Dacso said the order was a huge hit to morale, coming almost exactly one year after the first recorded case in New York. His team had been celebrating the progress made since then — until they heard about Abbott’s order…
“It’s true that Texas has been vaccinating people,” said Peter Hotez, vaccine researcher at Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. “But after the recent freeze, we rank at the bottom of states in the percentage of people we’ve vaccinated: Only 13 percent of Texans have had their first dose.
“I would have preferred to wait a couple of weeks to reopen while we see how these new variants play out here, and so that we could catch up to the rest of the country in terms of vaccinations,” Hotez continued.