Congresswoman Escobar: re-opening Texas without more testing is reckless, puts El Pasoans at risk

by | May 1, 2020 | Coronavirus, Policy

Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-El Paso) blasted Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday for prematurely re-opening the state.

“The primary obligation of every public official is the health, safety, and welfare of the residents we have the privilege to represent,” Escobar said in a news release. “Governor Abbott’s decision to prematurely re-open Texas today is a dereliction of that fundamental obligation.”

“Texas and El Paso are facing a global pandemic that has devastated lives and our economy, and while we are eager to return to normalcy, we must recognize that before that can happen, we must adequately address the health challenge that caused the economic crisis,” Escobar continued. 

Escobar said more robust testing and contact tracing were needed before reopening the state. She said El Paso has recently seen an increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths.

“Without a plan for vulnerable communities or a plan for robust testing, re-opening Texas is reckless, puts El Pasoans at risk, and Governor Abbot’s decision to tie the hands of local officials who are best positioned to protect their communities is particularly irresponsible,” Escobar said.

El Paso has seen almost 1,000 cases and 71 deaths since the start of the outbreak. 

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at

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