Midland Mayor Patrick Payton on Tuesday said elected officials should not be “trying to exercise authority we don’t have that is remaining unchecked in many municipalities and states.”

 Midland, Texas, Mayor Patrick Payton criticized the new face mask requirement on Tuesday
Midland, Texas, Mayor Patrick Payton criticized the new face mask requirement on Tuesday

The mayor’s remarks, made during an interview with Fox News, came on the same day that Texas reported more than 10,000 new cases of coronavirus in a single day.

To counter the surge in cases, Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order last week making face-covering required in public in all counties with 20 or more confirmed coronavirus cases.

“It’s really not a message of, ‘No face mask,'” Payton said. “It’s a message of how you communicate that and how you enforce that quite simply.”

Payton told Fox News that authority should be checked before “it runs rampant and we become comfortable in being overrun in our civil liberties.”

On Monday, Dr Anthony Fauci warned that the US is knee-deep in the first way of the coronavirus pandemic while many countries in the European Union hit a baseline before experiencing “little blips.”

According to Fauci, the US never came down to a baseline before surging back up.

 Dr Anthony Fauci warned on Monday that the US is 'knee-deep' in the first wave of coronavirus
Dr Anthony Fauci warned on Monday that the US is ‘knee-deep’ in the first wave of coronavirus

Last week, he told Congress the country could reach 100,000 cases a day if the outbreak doesn’t get under control.

As of Monday, Texas has reported more than 200,000 cases of coronavirus with over 2,600 deaths.

According to Payton, authorities in Midland have been encouraging residents, businesses, and people in the city to wear face masks.

“We’re asking our people to do exactly what they did in March, which is: do the right things to flatten the curve and they did exactly that,” he said.

“We’re asking them to do that now, but we’re not going to send our police department out when they have a job to do already and we’re already understaffed as a police department in this region.”

Payton said officers will not be responding to calls if someone is seen walking within six feet of someone else or if someone is seen without a face mask in the grocery store.

He called it an “anti-overreach message” rather than an “anti-face mask message.”

When asked if he wears a face mask, Payton said he does.

“A free people who are self-governing can do these best practices and protect themselves and the people around them without a mandate being handed down and that’s what we are doing in Midland, Texas,” he said.

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