Governor Abbott Is Latest Victim In His War on Public Health

AUSTIN, Texas — The expansive reach of COVID-19 in Texas has reached the level of a public health emergency. In nearly every corner of the stage, the impact of this virus cannot be overstated. There is no one immune to this surge.

Governor Abbott was one of more than 20,000 Texans to test positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. As kids head back to school and children are being hospitalized more than ever with COVID-19, Abbott remains unyielding in his heated legal battles with Texas schools and local governments over Covid-19 safety precautions.

Abbott has described school districts’ moves as government overreach, saying in a statement last week that “the path forward relies on personal responsibility—not government mandates.”

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

“I wish Governor Abbott well — no one deserves to be sick or to suffer from this unyielding virus. My hope is that the governor will realize how vulnerable we are in the face of this health crisis, stop playing politics, and do what is necessary for the health of all Texans.

“The governor has access to the best medical care available in Texas. While our ICUs are severely understaffed and over capacity, Governor Abbott has doctors and nurses on call and access to medicine that will treat this virus. He has the space to isolate himself to lessen fears of getting his family sick. The Governor has the ability to work from home or to take time away to rest and recover as needed. I wish the same were true for every Texan who is battling COVID-19.

“Abbott’s misfortune is a cautionary tale, and Republicans must put politics aside and start listening to local leaders, school officials, healthcare professionals, and community members — we are headed down a path from which we may not ever recover.

“Now is not a time to retreat and rely on ‘personal responsibility. We must remain steadfast in this fight. We must do everything we can to prevent the spread of COVID-19. There is too much at stake to do anything less.

“Today and every day, we continue our call for the Governor to rescind his executive order that bans local authorities from preventing the spread of COVID-19. Children’s lives cannot be negotiated for a potential political win. I commend the nearly dozen school districts and local governments who continue to defy the governor’s orders and in spite of forceful opposition, choose to do the right thing for the safety of our kids and communities. Texas Democrats stand with you — it is because of your courage and actions that we will get through this and see better days.