Nearly a month ago, Texas and Mississippi ended their mask mandates and allowed all businesses to open to full capacity. Since then, COVID-19 case and death rates have dropped in half, thereby helping to prove that mask mandates and capacity limits on businesses are no longer (and likely never were) necessary.
On March 1, the day before Governor Greg Abbott announced executive orders ending the state's mask mandate and capacity restrictions, Texas had a seven-day average of 7,693 new cases per day. Its seven-day average of deaths was 228 per day. On March 31, after nearly a full month of Abbott's orders being in effect, the state's seven-day case average was 3,883 while its seven-day death average was 102.
Mississippi's seven-day case average of March 1--the day before its own mask mandate and capacity limits ended--was 589 per day, while its seven-day death average was 18. On March 31, the case average had dropped to 231 while the average number of deaths per day dropped all the way to 5.
By way of comparison, Wisconsin--which still has capacity limits on bars and restaurants in most major cities--had a seven-day new case average of 712 per day. On March 31, that average had actually risen to 783 per day. The state's mask mandate was in effect for the entire month, and only ended when the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Governor Tony Evers' public health emergency on March 31.
One of the most restrictive states in the country, New York, had a seven-day average of 7,476 new cases per day on March 1. On March 31, that number spiked to 9,882 per day.
The implication seems clear: Not only did Texas and Mississippi not descend into COVID Hell (as pretty much every public health professional had predicted), they seem to be doing better than states that kept mask mandates and restriction limits in place.
Dan O'Donnell discussed this extensively on Wednesday's show. Click on the player below to listen and click here to subscribe to "The Dan O'Donnell Show" on iHeartRadio.