North Texas Daily

Greg Abbot’s lack of leadership during COVID-19 is hurting Texas

Greg Abbot’s lack of leadership during COVID-19 is hurting Texas

Greg Abbot’s lack of leadership during COVID-19 is hurting Texas
June 29
17:55 2020

Not to be that guy, but we told you so.

With the recent reopening of Texas by Gov. Greg Abbott, Texas has seen an increase of nearly 6,000 new COVID-19 cases a day. What’s even worse about the ordeal is that Abbott expressed to the news how shocked he was at this revelation.

Even though he knew this would happen, according to a leaked audiotape from May 1, between Abbot and Texas lawmakers.

So who’s really to blame for the rapid increase of COVID-19 in the state of Texas? If you ask Abbott, it’s the “gosh darn youth for not doing enough,” despite no evidence. To the contrary, Abbott went on record to say how it was young people’s fault for not wearing face masks, sanitizing their hands or maintaining safe social distancing practices, even though it was under Abbott’s orders that allowed bars and restaurants to stay open during the Memorial Day weekend, where the spikes most likely started.

From the onset, Abbott has not taken the virus seriously and has rushed to reopen Texas. Instead of accepting any responsibility whatsoever for the spread of the virus, he instead blames others (kind of like a certain commander in chief). And because of his decisions, we’re reaping the “benefits.”

The Texas Medical Center in Houston has reached surge capacity in the ICU, according to an article from the Houston Chronicle. Now they’ve stopped reporting COVID-19 data. Why? Abbott met with TMC hospital executives because he was unhappy about the negative headlines. TMC deleted the charts from its dashboard, walked back their statements of concern, and stopped reporting that type of data. Abbott built in a huge loophole in his shutdown policy to allow elective surgeries in TMC and affiliates as long as the hospitals have “enough capacity.” Allowing Abbott to keep the surging COVID-19 cases under wraps and TMC to make the profits from it.

Abbott can’t be solely to blame, of course. While he’s the man in charge who decided to reopen, people have to disobey common sense to spread infection as fast as they have. From nightclubs in Houston to Lucky Lou’s on Fry Street, there is no shortage of people willing to risk their lives and the lives of others so they can get a drink at the bar with their buddies.

Of course, there are the anti-mask protesters as well, with Alex Jones and 150 other unmasked protesters gathering at the Texas capitol this past Sunday, because wearing masks infringes on our First Amendment rights? The anti-mask protest was also the same day Travis County recorded a record-breaking spike in positive COVID-19 cases. How poetic.

All of this can be stopped by Abbott however. With the Texas Legislature only meeting every odd year,  this means Abbott is fully in charge of the state’s response. And while he’s slowly rolling back the reopening, he will leave the “big” responsibilities to the local governments, and as long as he’s willing to sit aside and do the bare minimum, Texas will be dealing with COVID-19 for the long haul.

Featured Illustration: Olivia Varnell

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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