Weekend wrap-up: Texas GOP convention flops, unclear if COVID cases stabilize

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Technical difficulties marred the Texas GOP’s virtual convention over the weekend. 

The convention, which shifted from in-person to online last week after Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner canceled the event citing a worsening pandemic, was supposed to begin on Thursday. 

To the amusement of everyone except those involved, the first day of the online convention was shut down by party officials after technical problems left delegates waiting for more than eight hours to get their credentials. Friday was left empty and technical issues continued throughout the rest of the weekend. 

Credit must be given to capitol reporters Scott Braddock and Christopher Hooks, who clearly gave up much of their weekend to torture themselves and wade through hours of delayed party business, cataloging the convention’s many flubs. 

The convention continued into Monday with the election of right-wing Tea Party nut and former Florida congressman Allen West. 

The election of West, a well-documented Islamophobe and extremist, suggests the party will continue to lurch to the right. 

Still unclear if COVID-19 cases are stabilizing 

Texas saw 7,300 new cases of coronavirus on Sunday, the lowest daily total in a week. 

The previous five days were days in which the number of new cases reached 10,000.

The pandemic is still spreading at an alarming rate — the state’s infection rate, or the percentage of tests that come back positive, has hovered above three times what the World Health Organization recommends (5 percent) for much of July. 

Still, the slight dip in the infection rate from its 17 percent peak last week to the 15 percent reported on Saturday offers some hope along with the consistency of the daily totals and hospitalizations reported in the past several days.

At least another week or two of data will be needed to see if social distancing measures encouraged throughout the state are working — or fingers crossed — if Texas has approached the peak of its seemingly unflattening curve.

In Harris County, the epicenter of the state’s outbreak, things are still a mixed bag; confirmed cases are still growing at an alarming rate, but hospitalizations, a better indicator for the virus, have seen a downward trend. On the other hand, Dallas County shows a dip in the number of daily cases and hospitalizations.

That said, things are still obviously bad — especially considering deaths have yet to catch up to the spike in new cases — as multiple models are projecting for Texas. That seems likely to be the case for the state as Friday saw 174 Texans die from the virus, the highest number yet.

As of Sunday, 325,030 cases have been reported in the state and 3,958 Texans have died from COVID.

Photo: Dan Tian/Xinhua via Getty Images

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