Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has faced immense backlash for his approach to the pandemic that's killed over 650 thousand Americans.
In fact, Abbott has actively opposed efforts to curtail the virus and issued sweeping executive orders designed to hinder cities in Texas from enforcing basic health guidelines. The governor's blanket ban on mask mandates has resulted in an onslaught of litigation.
It seems Abbott's approach is trickling down to some of his constituents, if a recent incident at a Texas restaurant is any indication.
Natalie Wester and her husband sat down to eat at Hang Time restaurant in Rowlett, Texas earlier this month when they were approached by a server, who told them the owner demanded they remove their masks, which they were wearing to protect their four month old, immunocompromised infant.
Watch Wester describe the incident below.
According to Wester:
"Our waitress came over, sat down next to me and said, 'Our manager told me to come over because I am nicer than he is… But this is political and I need you to take your masks off.'"
The owner, who later identified himself on Facebook as Thomas Blackmer, remained unapologetic:
"I have spent my money on the business, my blood sweat and tears in this business, and I don't want masks in here. So when they put their masks on the other night, they were reminded that at the front to take it off. They didn't want to, and so we asked them to leave."
The restaurant's Yelp page has been inundated with one-star reviews and tongue-in-cheek questions.
One reviewer asked:
"I'm planning to hold a memorial dinner for the 9,000 Texans who've died of COVID-19 since February, 95.5 % of whom were unvaccinated. Do you cater?"
"Can we bring the repeat customers in their urn?"
On social media, the reception wasn't much better.
They don’t want to have the government tell them what to do with their bodies, but they sure think they have the ri… https://t.co/Nb6yNBHmjG— Bird in Texas 🌊🌊🌊 (@Bird in Texas 🌊🌊🌊)1632094986.0
Disgustingly selfish to kick people out wearing a mask who are protecting imunocompromised child at home, there’s n… https://t.co/CFFUsvglxd— ruthypie (@ruthypie)1632146298.0
so much for #freedom there are other places to eat = glad they spoke out https://t.co/gu11Wt7DnM— Linda L Starlight (@Linda L Starlight)1632089109.0
Some called for a boycott.
Despite the backlash, Blackmer remains unapologetic.