For the past few weeks, COVID-19 cases have surged in Texas and specifically in Harris County. And while wearing no mask, Texas GOP Rep. Dan Crenshaw blames Black Lives Matter protests.
In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Crenshaw suggested protestors stood “in close proximity” at the protests and that led to the surge: “We had tens of thousands of people in the streets weeks ago… This should surprise no one.”
Protests have been ongoing in several states since late May, after the death of Houstonian George Floyd at the hands of police officers on May 25. But the protests have not seemed to have an impact on COVID-19 cases, as a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development Jeremy Konyndyk points out:
“Everyone wants to say it was a few people hanging out at bars that caused this,” Crenshaw states. “That’s not true. Texas has been reopening since May 1, we’ve been getting back to normal since May 1, and everything was declining as a result.”
Crenshaw isn’t just making the rounds on television but in person. He attended a “packed house” event at Tin Roof Barbecue with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Rep. Kevin Brady, showed up at an in-person event on Juneteenth, and while President Donald Trump was having his rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 26, Crenshaw hosted a meet-and-greet for local Trumpers — all three events largely had no masks or social distancing.
Sima Ladjevardian, the Democratic opponent for Texas’ 2nd Congressional District responded to Crenshaw’s claims: “As Houston rapidly becomes one of the worst affected cities in the world from COVID-19, we are watching Dan Crenshaw twist the truth, deceive worried Texans, and defy Governor Abbott’s own explanations for this terrible spike. It is more clear than ever that Dan Crenshaw is more concerned with defending Donald Trump and his political ambitions than defending the health of our Houston community. I am deeply disturbed by Dan Crenshaw’s factless blaming of Black Lives Matter protestors, and even more troubled by his apathy as his constituents suffer.”
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