Texas Gov. Abbott Has Held the Line (Thus Far) Against Draconian COVID-19 Response

Written by  

Texas Gov. Abbott Has Held the Line (Thus Far) Against Draconian COVID-19 ResponseAs mayors, county commissions, and governors across America impose strict controls over businesses and the private lives of individuals in the wake of coronavirus, there remains one notable, though perhaps not unsurprising, holdout — Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

The chief executive of the nation’s second-largest state by population has, unlike many of his fellow Republican counterparts, taken a relatively hands-off approach to COVID-19 containment, allowing cities and counties freedom to tackle the issue as they see fit and refraining from imposing sweeping controls at the state level.

Despite its size and population, Texas has avoided the fallout seen in other states, with roughly 80 cases and three deaths.

Washington state, by contrast, has reported 904 cases and 55 deaths. New York has had nearly 1,400 cases with 10 deaths, while California, the largest state in the union in terms of population, counts over 550 cases with seven deaths.

Many states, including those with Republican governors, have taken a top-down approach to combatting the virus, mandating school and business closures to local authorities.

Ohio’s Republican Governor Mike DeWine, for instance, announced all schools closed for at least three weeks.

And Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican and close ally of President Trump, issued an order right before St. Patrick’s Day forcing all bars and nightclubs in the sunshine state to close for 30 days.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, also both Republicans, have likewise ordered bars and restaurants closed in their states.

Meanwhile, states such as Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and New Jersey (all led by Democratic governors) have gone so far as to shut down all non-essential businesses, a move that is particularly hard-hitting for those who work in the retail sector.

Abbott, on the other hand, has thus far opted to leave such decisions in the hands of municipalities and counties, resulting in a patchwork system in which neighboring cities sometimes have very different response policies in place.

Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city, closed every restaurant dining room, while nearby Galveston still has its bars open.

That’s not to say that Abbott has not taken any action. He declared a state of disaster, putting the Texas National Guard on standby, and waved numerous regulations in order to get doctors and supply trucks to the state faster.

In some jurisdictions, leaders have struggled with finding the right way to handle the situation, causing some to call on the state to provide more direction.

In Dallas, where crowds larger than 50 have been prohibited and restaurants have been limited to takeout service, County Judge Clay Jenkins said: “We’ve done all that we can. But we need our governor and our regional partners to come together and the only way really to do that is through the state. We need the state to come in and lay out some parameters.”

But Abbott, who is in his second term, has contended that localities are more aware than the state on how to address the individual circumstances in their communities.

“They know their communities better than anybody else does,” the governor said. “We’re dealing with something, however, that is not just statewide in scope, not just nationwide in scope, but is worldwide in scope.”

Officials in the conservative state have had to grapple with containing a virus described as a pandemic while preserving their belief in constitutionally protected rights. One of the reasons Galveston County leaders have not shut down restaurants is that they are not sure if they have the legal authority to do so.

“Let’s get past (state law) right now and talk about the U.S. Constitution, which forbids me from depriving you of liberty or property without due process,” Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said.

Whether Abbott’s measured approach to the outbreak continues remains to be seen. The governor has said he will make an announcement Thursday, but has offered no details and only said that cities and counties should quickly send him input.

“It’s clear we’ve seen an increase,” Abbott said Wednesday.

Most people who contract coronavirus experience only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. Older adults, particularly those with preexisting conditions, may see a more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The wide majority of those infected with COVID-19 recover. Per the World Health Organization, those whose cases are mild see recovery within two weeks, while those with severe cases have a typical recovery period of three to six weeks.

Luis Miguel is a writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on FacebookTwitterBitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.

Reprinted with permission from The New American

%d bloggers like this: