Two threats to local Texas, and two different responses from the Texas government

Medical professionals work at the COVID-19 testing site at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Credits: Joel Angel Juarez of Texas Tribune

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COVID-19 is booming in spots such as El Paso, Lubbock, and Amarillo, Texas, and Thanksgiving, the largest American family gathering of the year, ends in just a few days.

Governor Greg Abbott sticks to his approach — not shutting things down as quickly as some local and health authorities want, and not allowing them to go outside the regulatory boundaries set in Austin. .. In the view of some people in western Texas, he was slow to send help.

Some provincial governments are seeking help, others are seeking permits, and they are seeking help from around the world. And some response from the state will be easier. The 220 murders in Dallas have received a quicker response from Austin than the 800 COVID-19 deaths in El Paso.

There have been more murders in Dallas this year than in 2019 as a whole. Abbott has also sent people from the Texas Department of Public Safety (State Police) to assist in the arrest of the Dallas Police Department for the first time in two years. In that situation. The governor said he was acting at the request of local police, and Texas Tribune’s Jolly McCullough reported that he sent DPS special agents, soldiers, intelligence analysts, and Texas Rangers to “reduce violent crime. Protect the Dallas city community. ” “

City officials said they were happy with the help. And the governor is acting in line with what he emphasized about supporting law enforcement in the weeks leading up to this month’s general election. It’s a fruitful political position, and new developments will show whether it’s also a good state policy.

It also stems from a long-standing debate about the powers of Texas state and local governments. These powers and responsibilities are at each level. Abbott did not participate in the vote this year, but was involved in the GOP’s efforts to maintain Republican control of the Texas state government. The rhetoric of his campaign came from a summer demonstration against police violence and gained momentum when Austin and other city governments began voting to transfer money and responsibility from police budgets to other areas. It sprouted in response to the “police refund” movement.

Abbott threatened to send state police to Austin police if the city shrank. Dallas’ strategy is not part of it. But it could serve as a state demonstration project that went into local police, not to mention the governor’s political victory if the murder rate fell as a result.

The coronavirus pandemic was more difficult to contain than the crime rate. The state has entered a third wave of increasing COVID-19 cases with hotspots in El Paso, Lubbock, Amarillo and Midland. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price is positive on the test, clearly reminiscent of the increasing number of cases in Tarrant County. This is part of the national increase in coronavirus in the week before Thanksgiving.

“Over one million COVID-19 cases have been reported in the United States in the last seven days,” the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a holiday news release. “The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is to celebrate with people who live with us at home, as cases continue to grow rapidly across the United States.”

It’s a passive message, and the state government is sticking to it.

“You can’t get a COVID without exposing yourself to the COVID,” Abbott said at a press conference in Lubbock Thursday. He said the Texas people had cases of COVID fatigue and needed to return to wearing masks, stay away and wash their hands.

“What we need is for people to … return to those safe practices,” he said. “It’s easy to relax our vigilance.”

However, he did not order it and refused efforts by local authorities such as El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego to close the so-called non-essential business in an attempt to stop the spread of the disease.

Abbott said Thursday that local authorities need to follow state guidelines to stop the spread, and that it is possible to limit COVID-19 and keep local businesses open. “Following these protocols will lead to a reduction in COVID,” he said.

And he emphasized resistance to the new closure of the entire state. “It’s important for everyone to know that we’re never shut down across the state.” He said it wouldn’t achieve what people think it would. “Shutdown does not lead to the positive results people expect.”

Its holiday approach to controlling the pandemic, like the decision to send state police to Dallas, is the governor’s bet that he is right for policy and politics.

Two threats to local Texas, and two different responses from the Texas government

Source link Two threats to local Texas, and two different responses from the Texas government

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