North Texas Daily

Greg Abbott reopening Texas would be catastrophic

Greg Abbott reopening Texas would be catastrophic

Greg Abbott reopening Texas would be catastrophic
April 23
07:00 2020

Earlier this month, Texas governor Greg Abbott proposed plans to reopen Texas and its economy as early as April 27. This would be achieved by reopening some businesses but keeping schools closed for the remainder of the school year. Abbott says it depends on whether the state has been able to contain COVID-19 to begin the first wave of reopening businesses. To sincerely believe the entire state of Texas will have COVID-19 contained even before the beginning of May is simply wishful and naive thinking which poses a truly dangerous threat to the state and everyone in it.

Yes, the Texas economy is in a terrible position at the moment and small businesses are suffering the most because of COVID-19 complications, but to allow these businesses to reopen would only be detrimental to them in the long run. Furthermore, alleviating the stay-at-home order for Texas would be catastrophic. If the public returned in droves to businesses, restaurants, bars and movie theaters before Texas has even hit its peak with the virus would be a deadly mistake. While it is likely not all of these businesses will reopen at once, Governor Abbott should practice some patience before allowing all of these business to reopen for the safety of Texas residents.

The lives and well-being of Texas residents needs to be placed ahead of the economy. This should be a given in any circumstance but it feels as if our governor is bypassing this very clear idea in favor of keeping the economy going. The economy is in need of stimulation, but allowing businesses to reopen only to then continuously reopen more businesses and lifting the stay-at-home order would only harm Texas businesses, Texas residents and Texas itself.

Greg Abbott should monitor all COVID-19 updates for Texas and continue to be in contact with medical professionals to weigh all options when considering what to do with Texas. He seems to be acting very prematurely with this decision to begin to reopen businesses. Instead of focusing solely on the economy — which seems to be exactly what he is doing — he needs to shift his focus and be outspoken with urging people to stay at home and practice social distancing. There is an apparent lack of priority here as it seems Abbott has not been as outspoken about these things as other state governors have by his sole focus on the economy. At the best (for lack of a better word), it feels as if he is not prioritizing proper regulations and at the worst, it feels as if he does not care about these regulations and only wants to mend the economy instead.

Of course mending the economy is not a negative thing to do, especially during these trying times, but it should not be the top priority at the moment. Texas has likely still not hit its peak with the virus and to counteract the stay-at-home and social distancing orders already in place would not only be an ignorant idea, it would be a dangerous one. Greg Abbott needs to reevaluate his priorities and make sure that all Texas residents are kept safe by keeping all businesses closed until it is officially confirmed safe to reopen. Texas would not be Texas without its residents, so it is extremely important to make sure we are all kept safe.

Featured Illustration: Jae-Eun Suh 

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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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