With Texas surpassing one million cases, Abbott’s response still inadequate


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Daily cases of COVID-19 are higher than they have ever been in America with Texas being the first state to surpass one million cases.

On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott held a press conference where he ruled out the possibility of a statewide shutdown while gushing over the upcoming arrival of a new antibody treatment for COVID-19. He said the supply was limited, but he did not disclose how many doses were available.

Earlier this month, Texas became the first state with more than a million cases of COVID-19. As of Friday, there have been 20,296 deaths.

Considering the alarming statistics, Abbott’s focus is in the wrong place, and his plans are the exact opposite of what the state needs: a mandatory lockdown. Abbott has consistently proved that his concern is with the economy, not the people. From the beginning, his pandemic responses were disappointing and highly informed by economic interests. Businesses remained open until March 19. Abbott issued a disaster proclamation on March 31, yet he refused to call it a stay-at-home order, even after over 3,000 people had already contracted the virus.

Just weeks later, on April 27, he ordered for the phased reopening of businesses. At the same time, Texas saw a spike in cases. The attendance of bars, restaurants and other indoor venues like gyms were responsible for 80% of cases from March to May.

Still, the government allowed most businesses to operate at 50 percent capacity, and Abbott increased this to 75% capacity in September. 

Since then, the number of cases in Texas have soared. El Paso is currently facing a crisis as hospitals overflow with coronavirus patients, with more people hospitalized than populations of entire states. The city has resorted to doubling its supply of mobile morgues, and their local leaders are overwhelmed. 

This alone should prove to Abbott that his responses aren’t enough. With next to no government regulation, this irresponsible leadership places the pressure of stopping the spread of the virus on local government and individuals. And though we should all be doing our part, the governor’s expectations assume complete cooperation, and his orders leave room for confusion and debate. As long as the government ignores the virus, they are showing people it’s acceptable to do the same. 

At this point, almost nothing can be done to reverse the severe mismanagement of the pandemic by our government leaders, but a statewide lockdown would give them some time to at least try to repair the damage and potentially slow the spread of the virus. And if Abbott can offer $50 million worth of grants to small businesses, he can find a way to send state funds to those financially impacted by the pandemic. 

The national total of COVID-19 cases is currently at 11.9 million, with over 100,000 cases being reported each day. National responses have failed, and Abbott hasn’t made up for it. As cases continue to rise, Abbott’s only choice should be to push his dedication to the economy aside and take proper action.