Texas continues to set new daily records for positive coronavirus tests and hospitalizations and while Governor Greg Abbott appears to have noticed this, he isn't ready to do anything about it yet.
Ideally, you would stop the virus before it spreads, but Abbott says he'll take action to stop it after it has already spread out of control.
Abbott spoke to reporters yesterday when he said he'll act next month if the public doesn't act first.
“The way hospitalizations are spiking, the way that daily new cases are spiking — surely the public can understand that if those spikes continue, additional measures are going to be necessary to make sure we maintain the health and safety of the people of the state of Texas,” Abbott responded when asked whether he would consider rolling back some of the state’s reopening guidelines.
“If we were to experience another doubling of those numbers over the next month, that would mean we’re in an urgent situation where tougher actions will be required to make sure that we do contain the spread of Covid-19,” he said.
Yes, if their numbers continue to double (or even triple) that would be too bad, wouldn't it? That would be urgent.
I know it's anecdotal, but hospital staff who've spoken up on social media say their facilities are full today; not a month from now. Children's hospitals in the Houston area are now taking on adult patients because regular hospitals are full of COVID-19 cases.
I think we have conclusively seen, particularly in majority conservative states, that the general public will not stop the spread of the virus by their own initiative. Most Americans have done their part, but there are also many who believe that wearing a mask is unconstitutional, or whatever.
The governor of Texas could take this opportunity to lead and set an example by mandating the use of masks, among other things, but he hasn't done that. Abbott actually signed an executive order that prohibits cities in Texas from imposing their own requirements.
Absent government action, there's no reason to believe the virus will not continue on its current course over the next month. I'm not an epidemiologist, but we've seen the only thing that stops the spread is a combination of social distance and personal protective equipment. Texas does not have either of those things right now, at least not by law.
Texas reported over 5,000 additional coronavirus cases today.