June 26, 2020/Media, Press

ROUNDUP: Greg Abbott Receives Flood of Criticism Over Reckless Handling of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Austin, TX — Over the course of the last week, Governor Greg Abbott has received a flood of criticism over his reckless, dangerous management of the coronavirus pandemic. Since the public health crisis began, Abbott has failed to heed the advice of medical professionals, instead, he placated the interests of his donors and lobbyists.

Governor Abbott’s prioritization of his political interests and donors above the health and safety of Texans has had deadly consequences. Enough is enough. 

For partial coverage of Greg Abbott’s failed response to the coronavirus pandemic see below:

CNN: “Given the obvious spike in both cases and hospitalizations and the ongoing confusion over his mask order (or not), what Abbott almost certainly should do is pump the brakes on the reopening of the state. Say that they entered Phase III too quickly. Or that people may not have received the message when it comes to how much masks help. Or how transmissible Covid-19 is. Look, Abbott could say any or all of these things. But the point is he needs to press the “reset” button on his state’s fight against coronavirus. And soon. Whether or not his political base likes it. And whether or not he thinks it makes him look weak or ineffective.”

Austin American-Statesman: “More and more Texans are contracting the coronavirus at a clip that public health officials warn is unsustainable. Waves of new patients are hitting hospitals, which statewide are seeing two-thirds more COVID-19 patients now than they had just three weeks ago. And Gov. Greg Abbott appears to be more interested in playing word games than providing reliable leadership.”

New York Times: “Only two months ago, it was Texas that was allowing restaurants to reopen, while Mr. de Blasio was pleading with residents to resist the impulse to gather outdoors. Now, Texas and several other states with rising cases are scrambling. Many of the states that have seen recent spikes are run by Republicans who were initially reluctant to shut down, but not all of them.”

Dallas Morning News: “The leadership mantle falls on Abbott, who now must be more severe in tone and policy, especially as hospitalizations rise and we draw ever nearer the fall. The issue is not whether we need to wear masks, or when and where to wear masks, but that we must wear masks during social contact. That is the message that he must get across, and state and local governments and businesses must now have the authority to enforce compliance.”

San Antonio Express-News: “Abbott revealed that in light of the disturbing recent explosion of COVID-19 infection rates across the state, he was pushing the pause button on the phased reopening of the state’s economy that he orchestrated over the past two months. This is as close as we’ll ever get to Abbott admitting he messed up. But, of course, he did mess up. Our governor played Spin the Bottle with the worst global pandemic of the past century, and Texas is in a world of hurt right now.”

Los Angeles Times: “Despite this mess, however, Abbott has continued to point fingers at anyone but himself — he blamed young people for not sanitizing their hands enough and lamented on KBTX that ‘there remain a lot of people in the state of Texas who think that the spread of COVID-19 is really not a challenge.’ Abbott’s epiphany that ‘there is never a reason for you to have to leave your home unless you do need to go out’ is not a sign of repentance. Rather, it is his attempt to distract people from his mismanagement of the coronavirus response in Texas and his exaltation of personal liberties at the expense of public health.”

Associated Press: “Abbott also ordered rafting and tubing outfitters on Texas’ popular rivers to close and said outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must be approved by local governments. The abrupt actions reflect how Texas is now scrambling to contain an outbreak less than two months after an aggressive reopening that was one of the fastest in the U.S.”

Bloomberg: “Abbott, a Republican, plowed ahead despite criticisms from Democrats and senior state officials that he was moving too fast and possibly jeopardizing public health. Reality has finally intervened. As of Wednesday, Texas had 125,921 reported cases of Covid-19. About 4,000 coronavirus patients are hospitalized, up from 3,000 several days ago. TMC and other hospitals are sagging beneath the weight of Covid-19. And, suddenly, Abbott is speaking more plainly about the peril his state faces.”

Slate: “On measure after measure, economic activity in the state flatlined or began to droop in June. Hours worked at small businesses. Consumer spending. Restaurant bookings and revenues. All stalled out. And on Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott finally announced that he would “pause” any further reopening of the state in order to slow the coronavirus’s accelerating spread. He tried to put a positive spin on the move. “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backward and close down businesses,” he said.”

New York Magazine: “The order marks a significant turnaround for Abbott, who said just last week that there was ‘no reason to be alarmed’ about the rise in coronavirus cases in the state. By Wednesday of this week, he was warning that the spread of the virus could get “out of control” and hinting at a re-implementation of business closures. On Thursday, Abbott “paused” Texas’s reopening and banned elective surgeries in four counties to preserve hospital beds.”

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