Just two days prior to lifting a statewide mask mandate, Texas Governor Greg Abbott prevented two planeloads of federal mask police from setting foot in the Lonestar State, Real Raw News has learned.
On Sunday, February 28, at 10:30pm, Abbott heard that two chartered Embracer light passenger jets, each carrying 60 mask enforcement agents from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, were en route from Washington D.C. to Austin, Texas. The aircraft were scheduled to land at Austin Executive Airport, a smaller and less conspicuous point of arrival than the city’s primary aviation hub, Austin-Bergstrom Intl. Airport.
A source at the governor’s office speaking under condition of anonymity told RRN that Governor Abbott had not been officially forewarned. Nor had he requested aid from Washington. He was tipped off by an employee at the offices of Travis County Judge Andy Brown, a Democrat known for challenging Abbott’s effective Covid-19 response measures. Brown, who has been at loggerheads with the Travis County Sherriff’s Department over its refusal to enforce mask mandates and fine offenders, had sought help from Washington.
Brown allegedly spoke to Kamala Harris and Dr. Anthony Fauci and beseeched them to send federal enforcement agents who, unlike sheriff’s deputies, wouldn’t balk at forcibly enforcing his executive orders. His plea was apparently successful, as the flights of civil rights-trampling agents lifted off less than 36 hours later.
As previously reported, FEMA in January repurposed an eighth of its workforce to help state municipalities with mask enforcement duties, and its personnel have been widely used in Michigan, New York, California, and other Democratic strongholds. But not—as far as RRN knows— in Red states helmed by Republican governors.
“To say Abbott was pissed is an understatement. Judge Brown and Austin Mayor Steve Adler conspired to keep him in the dark. They broke chain of command, and I imagine the Biden administration was quite pleased. When Abbott got the tip, the first plane was 90 minutes from wheels down. He had a revelatory moment: if the planes landed, more would follow.”
Abbott, our source added, immediately contacted Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and state AG Ken Paxton to discuss how to handle unwanted federal agents on Texas soil. They agreed, unanimously, that D.C. should have cleared the incursion with the governor’s office; to do otherwise was unlawful.
“Paxton pointed out that Abbott had already given FEMA permission to operate in Texas, though just to help with vaccine administration. But this probably emboldened the Biden administration into believing they could wantonly land as many FEMA in Texas as they wanted. Abbott wasn’t having any of that,” our source said.
Abbott notified the Texas National Guard station in Austin, and at his request, commanding officer Major General Robert Bodisch at once deployed a detachment of Guardsmen—exact figures unknown—to the airfield, with orders to prevent passengers from deboarding the aircraft. When the first plane touched down at midnight, it was quickly encircled by several Humvees brimming with armed soldiers.
“A brief standoff occurred. The lieutenant in charge told the pilot to refuel and take off, that he had orders to expel any FEMA agents trying to get off the plane. We don’t know what conversation went on between the pilot and Washington, or between him and whoever on the plane was in charge of the FEMA people, but after twenty minutes they refueled and left. The second aircraft, which was in a holding pattern and low on fuel, was given the same privilege,” our source said.
In closing, our source said Gov. Abbot relayed the incident to governors of other republican states, cautioning them to keep a wary eye on treacherous Democratic legislators in their midst.