Today is Friday, March 5, 2021. Here’s what you need to know:

Good morning, 

Texas and Mississippi announced they are removing the mask mandates put in place to deter the spread of COVID-19, despite warnings from various health experts. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the move via Twitter on Tuesday. 

One day later, Abbott followed up with another tweet prompting more backlash from citizens, legislators and President Biden. It stated, “the Biden Administration is recklessly releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants who have COVID into Texas communities.” 

Texas is not the only state making the move to mask-less, however. Mississippi will be taking down their mask signage as well after Gov. Tate Reeves announced that masks would be voluntary. The two states join Montana and Iowa in rescinding their mask mandates. Both states also received criticism from President Biden who referred to the decisions as “neanderthal thinking,” when he was asked about it on Wednesday.

Health experts have expressed concern for the coming weeks as COVID-19 cases could rise again, creating the potential for more mutations in the virus. 

News from The Post:

Athens businesses are coming back, here’s a list of who’s operating and how. (The Post)

COVID-19 programming is arriving at the Baker Center. (The Post)

Black history in Appalachia has shaped Ohio University in important ways. (The Post)

Athens Weather

Get a dose of Vitamin D today! It will be 43 degrees today and sunny. (Courtesy of Scalia Lab)

You might also want to know…

Italy has blocked a shipment of 250,000 vaccines bound for Australia following a shortage in Europe. (BBC News)

Malcolm X’s childhood home, the only remaining residence of his, has been deemed a historical site. (AP)

The SpaceX Starship proved the hard way that the landing isn’t always the most important part. (Reuters)

@JackHiltner 

jh396418@ohio.edu