The Evening Campaign Update
It’s official: Texas Republican Governor Gregg Abbott, who governs a massive state of 28 million people that has seen fewer cases of Wuhan Virus than the city of Newark, New Jersey, has lost the race to reopen the massive Texas economy to…wait for it…radical leftist Colorado Democrat Jared Polis.
Hours after Polis announced he would gradually start to lift his state’s stay-at-home order beginning April 26, Abbott called a press conference to update Texans on the progress he and his timid and apparently paralyzed “strike force” had made since his last disappointing press conference on Friday.
Guess what? They haven’t made any progress to speak of.
From a Houston Chronicle report on the Abbott presser:
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott painted a positive picture of the state’s battle against COVID-19, but he said it’s not time yet to open up the economy.
Abbott said on Tuesday the number of people testing positive for the coronavirus is “leveling off” and has remained mostly under 1,000 a day even as testing has accelerated. He said on April 9, Texas had more than 1,000 people test positive for COVID-19, but hasn’t hit that number in 12 straight days.
“It’s not because COVID-19 is suddenly dispersed from the geography of the state of Texas,” he said. “The reason why it is leveling off is because our fellow Texans have done such a great job of reducing their interactions with others.”
Abbott said he is in touch with private sector employers and health professionals and is hoping to have an announcement soon to reopen parts of the economy that have been closed since he issued his initial stay-at-home order on March 31.
He said on Monday he expects to make an announcement about the “next steps for opening up Texas.”
So basically, the Governor of the State of by-God Texas reported absolutely zero progress from his vaunted “strike force” and punted the question of reopening the 10th-largest economic engine on the face of the damn earth for six more days. There was a time when Texans could confidently look to Governor Abbott for strong and decisive leadership in the face of a crisis, as he demonstrated so well in the wake of the devastating passage of Hurricane Harvey in 2017. As of today, that time is apparently gone.
Look, no one is questioning the fact that we needed to take these mitigating steps back in March to try to “lower the curve” of this plague that has been visited upon our country by the communist Chinese government. But a month has now gone by, and all we are asking is for the Governor and his plodding “strike force” to demonstrate that they are at least giving the situation some real, analytical thought.
There are still over 60 counties in Texas that have seen zero cases of this virus, and well over 100 that have seen no more than 5. Anyone who wishes can go look right now and easily determine that more than 70% of the Wuhan Virus cases in Texas are centered in 11 of the state’s 254 counties. Why are the members of this “strike force” and the Governor insisting on treating all 254 of those counties the same?
For example, Brewster County covers a geographical area that is larger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware, yet its population is just a little more than 9,000 people. Brewster County has yet to report a single case of COVID-19, but its 9,000 residents are subject to the same stay-at-home order as the millions of residents of the City of Houston. The “non-essential” businesses in Brewster County are shut down just like those in the City of Dallas. People in Brewster County are being thrown out of jobs just like people in San Antonio.
Does that really make sense to you? Because it doesn’t make sense to me, and it shouldn’t make sense to anyone with functioning synapses in their cranial cavities. How in the hell can it possibly make sense to the plodding people on the “strike force,” who are apparently working under the Michael Horowitz model of moving forward, which is roughly at the speed of Brian Stelter savoring a box of jelly donuts.
This is maddening, and all I can say to Governor Abbott right now is that if you’ve lost me, you’ve lost Texas, and you are right on the cusp of losing me. The Governor is very, very fortunate not to be running for re-election this year.
That is all.
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