Leaked audio of Gov. Greg Abbott in a private call with state legislators, first reported by Capitol insider Scott Braddock, shows the governor admitting that the reopening of the state will lead to more COVID-19 infections.
“The fact of the matter is, pretty much every scientific and medical report shows, that whenever you have a reopening … it actually will lead to an increase in spreads, it’s almost ipso facto, the more that you have people out there the greater the possibility there is for transmission,” Abbott said.
The remarks are particularly damning because as the governor has begun to reopen businesses in the state and allow the statewide stay-at-home order expire, he has done so promising to continue to contain the outbreak.
Just last week, when he announced the phased reopening of the state, Abbott said his strategy allowed for the state economy to get back on track while containing the spread of COVID-19 and keeping Texans safe. He also claimed his reopening of the state relied on data and the advice of health experts.
Following the leaked audio, Texas Democratic Party Executive Director Manny Garcia said the private conversation showed Abbott and Republicans were not trying to protect Texans.
“Republicans are putting our families’ lives at risk so their billionaire donors can get richer,” Garcia said. “What Texas Republicans say in public yet again doesn’t match what they say in private.”
Photo: Tom Fox-Pool/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