More than 2,000 Texans have died from COVID-19, and 2,000 more cases are being diagnosed in our state every single day. Hospitalizations are increasing. The seven-day average of newly confirmed cases is also rising.
Yet Governor Abbott continues to call for Texas to reopen, “because we have so many hospital beds available to anybody who gets ill.”
Abbott acknowledges the spread of the virus, but is doing nothing to contain it. He treats as mere suggestions the public health measures that have significantly blocked the virus’s spread in other countries:
“It is their choice about whether or not they are gonna go out and congregate with others or go to a store, whatever it is they may want to do. It is incumbent upon every individual in Texas to make sure that they are doing all they can not to get or transmit COVID-19 as we do open up the economy. You have your own control of whether or not you will be getting this disease.”
It’s time to tell Governor Abbott that a deadly pandemic is not the time for libertarian fantasy. If the state is going to continue to reopen, we need at least two things in place:
- Ongoing social distancing mandates, including universal masking—which an increasing body of evidence suggests is tremendously effective.
- Local control—so that cities can make their own rules to keep their citizenry safe. This should be easy. Local control is the bedrock of Republican ideology. As Austin Mayor Steve Adler says, “If the governor is not going to enforce it, then I sure would hope that he would allow local jurisdictions to decide to enforce it, if that’s something that they want to do locally.”
Write Governor Abbott today.