Even as he said that cases of the coronavirus were expected to increase “exponentially” on Monday, Governor Greg Abbott has been slower to respond to the pandemic than other governors across the nation.
Abbott has taken measures to curb the outbreak such as activating the National Guard and declaring a public health disaster. But as of Tuesday, Abbott has not implemented many of the aggressive statewide measures taken by other states across the country.
Governors like Jay Inslee of Washington and Mike DeWine of Ohio have undertaken drastic steps to deal with the coronavirus, including shutting down all bars and restaurants. So far, Abbott has not implemented similar restrictions at the state level, instead leaving it to local governments to fight the pandemic. For example, while nearly 30 states have ordered schools to close, half of Texas’ school districts have not told students to stay home after spring break.
Abbott’s coronavirus approach is a “patchwork system” that experts say can make it hard to gauge the effectiveness of various strategies and can be confusing.
On the issue of elections, Abbott doesn’t even seem to know whether he has the authority to make changes to municipal elections.
The governor has also failed to commit to a course of action to deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus. He has not addressed calls for paid sick leave, something that 4.3 million Texans currently lack.
The need for Texas to take decisive and unified action at the state level to fight the coronavirus is magnified by the Trump administration’s inept response. For the sake of all Texans, Abbott needs to do what other governors have already done.
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