State Rep. and House Minority Leader Chris Turner is sounding the alarm on the rising number of COVID-19 cases as Gov. Greg Abbott kicks off his latest phase of reopening Texas.
“On Monday, Texas saw its highest 7-day average of new cases since the pandemic began,” Turner wrote in a statement issued by the Texas House Democratic Caucus. “The data are clear — unfortunately, COVID-19 numbers are moving in the wrong direction right now and we need to tap the brakes, not step on the gas.”
On Wednesday, Abbot issued an executive order allowing all Texas businesses to reopen at 50 percent capacity.
The Texas House Democratic Caucus, which Turner chairs, said Texas has failed to complete 30,000 tests a day (the goal the governor set in April) and that the number of daily tests has decreased over the past week.
State data compiled by the Texas Tribune shows that the number of tests reported by Texas each day reached 30,000 in mid-may but has since steadily declined. As of June 2, the state is reporting 23,598 tests.
As Turner stated, the data does indeed show that the number of daily cases of coronavirus began to skyrocket since late May. On Wednesday, Texas reported 1,703 new cases, the largest number yet and during a time when testing has declined — a fact in direct confrontation with Republican leadership in the state who has waved away concerns over mounting cases as a result of more testing.
A total of 68,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported by the state and 1,734 Texans have died from the virus.
Photo: Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via Getty Images
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 firstname.lastname@example.org