RICHMOND, Texas - As the battle between local counties and the state of Texas regarding mask mandates wages on, officials in Fort Bend County are celebrating a victory but say they are disappointed the way things have gone as far as they have.
County judge KP George was joined by several legal and medical officials Friday afternoon to deliver remarks after the 434th District Court of Texas granting an injunction upholding Fort Bend County’s order on facial mask covering in county buildings.
"This is a victory of our community, especially our children and the hardworking employees in Fort Bend County," Judge KP George said in a press statement.
The mandate was issued after the county filed a lawsuit challenging Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order, GA-38.
Fort Bend Co. was just one of the many local governments pushing back against the governor's executive order due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases and schools pressured to enforce mask-wearing in classrooms.
During Friday's press conference, County Judge George seemed optimistic based on this victory, doubling down on his commitments but expressed disappointment over how things have gone the way they have.
"It is unfortunate we have to fight in this aspect, but my message we have to fight, we will have to fight because I took an oath to protect our citizens at every level…especially our children," he said. "Every day, every hour, every minute we wait – we adults, are failing to protect our most vulnerable: the children."
Medical officials echoed the county judge's sentiments saying they're seeing almost 200 children, just at Texas Children's Pediatric alone, testing positive daily.
With the latest number of lawsuits piling up against the state between local authorities, Judge George noted how he has served on the school board and spent time visiting schools and saw how every student sported colorful masks.
"Children – they don’t care if they’re wearing masks," he said. "Adults are the problem."
The main theme during the press conference ultimately stressed the importance of keeping children safe and ensuring the future would benefit current endeavors.
"One thing I really know [is] that I wanted to be on the right side of history…I know that I am," Judge George concluded. "Let’s do the right thing and history will be on our side."