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Leeser recounts family virus deaths in asking Abbott to allow El Paso mask mandate

EL PASO, Texas -- In a highly personal letter where he recounts the Covid-19 deaths of his mother and brother, El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser wrote to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday evening seeking authority for the city to impose its own mask mandate when the state's is lifted next week.

Leeser shares with Abbott details about his family's devastating experience with Covid-19 last year. The observation the mayor offers about the value of face masks in his letter is similar to a message he gave El Pasoans at his news conference on Wednesday.

"I lost my mother in November to Covid-19. The night before she passed away, my two sisters and my brother visited her. I implored them to wear a facemask. We didn't know that she was Covid-positive, but I suspected she might be. We later learned that she had Covid-19. My sisters wore a facemask and were not infected. My brother did not wear a mask. Sadly we lost my brother on Christmas Eve," Lesser recalls to the governor.

Later in the letter he states emphatically: "If my brother had worn a face mask, he would still be alive today."

Leeser told the governor he shared his story not to evoke sympathy, but rather to emphasize the "power and protection" that requiring face masks can have. He asks Abbott to allow local communities the right to impose a mask mandate if they see benefit in doing so.

The entire letter can be viewed below.

El Paso / News / Texas / Texas Politics / Top Stories / Video

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.



  1. As the Mayor clearly states it was a choice. The sisters chose to and the brother didn’t. If I choose not to and I get the virus it’s on me. Choices, the way it should be.

    1. Stfu Delanders. You can apply that to everything! Wearing a seatbelt should be a choice? Right? But then the pigs wouldn’t make any money. Car inspections should be a choice? Car insurance should be a choice. Your stupidity goes beyond your inferior genes.

      1. seat belts should be a choice. insurance companies got that law created. its time for adults to stand up and take their lives back and stop being led by the nose

  2. Abbott made a mistake when he opened the bars too soon. He realized his mistake and corrected it. He’s made another mistake and when cases start increasing, I have no doubt that he’ll correct it again. He’s a Republican, but he isn’t a blithering idiot like Trump.

    1. Time for folks to get back to work. The peanuts Biden and the loony left are throwing at us wont cover 4.00+ gas and the inflation that is currently brewing. Have you even followed the bond markets the last few weeks? Get yo wallet out Papa cuz it gonna get ‘spensive!

      1. The $4.00 gas is the result of arrogant Texans inventing their own electric grid to keep from being subject to federal regulations. The gulf refineries lost power too and could not produce gasoline. It will last until the refineries make up the difference. About 2 more months and then prices will fall. Most people are buying electric cars now anyway so it won’t be an issue much longer.

        1. ‘Most people are buying electric cars now’ Were you raised buy parents that spewed bullshit constantly or is this a trait you picked up yourself?

  3. Wear mask if you want and if you dont that is their right as well. You health is not my responsibility its yours. You dobt go and smack a cheeseburger out of a fat person’s hands. We are responsible for our own health

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