Texas Governor Greg Abbott's decision to lift the state-wide mask mandate this week amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was met with plenty of criticism across the country. Even San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich sounded off on Abbott.
During a pregame press conference on Tuesday before a game against the New York Knicks, Popovich called Abbott's decision to reopen the state "mystifying," according to TMZ Sports.
"When all of a sudden we act like [the pandemic] is over with -- when all of the science tells us the opposite -- it's basically like you're saying, 'You get infected? You die? That's the way it goes. We gotta open up,'" Popovich said. "That's not the way to do it. This is really ridiculous."
Abbott announced he will "open Texas 100%" beginning March 10 earlier in the day. Along with the mask mandate being lifted, businesses will also be able to operate at 100% capacity.
According to the Texas Tribune, health officials are advising people in Texas to continue wearing masks and practice social distancing despite the governor's decision to lift restrictions.
More than 6,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Texas on Tuesday, with more than 1,700 patients in intensive care units, according to the Washington Post.