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TexPIRG Statement on Gov. Abbott slowing down the state’s reopening

Wise decision follows series of poor ones, but better late than never
For Immediate Release

AUSTIN -- Gov. Greg Abbott halted the process of reopening Texas on Thursday amid a record-setting spike in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. In addition, the governor told four large counties across the state not to allow elective surgeries, to keep from overwhelming hospitals. 

In response, TexPIRG Director Bay Scoggin released the following statement:

“When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Governor Abbott’s announcement today is a recognition that we moved too quickly to reopen, and while tough to hear, is absolutely the right decision. Stopping further reopenings is a good first step, and the only choice if we want to get ourselves out of this hole.

“Texas was not meeting the criteria put out by experts to safely reopen when we started this process back in May, and we’re even further from meeting those benchmarks today. The steady, continuous rise in hospitalizations shows clearly just how dangerous our lack of compliance has become. 

“We want the same thing we wanted in May when we called on the governor to slow down:  a comprehensive, data-driven, expert-endorsed plan. That means having plenty of hospital beds, abundant and available testing, a surplus of personal protective equipment and ventilators, and thorough contact tracing. Then, as now, we don’t meet these standards to reopen. 

“As next school year grows closer, TexPIRG is partnering with NAACP Dallas to come up with a plan to restart the school year safely. The governor’s current plan to send kids back to school is inadequate, to say the least, especially in light of the most recent numbers.”

TexPIRG is working to protect consumers during the public health crisis. You can see a full list of our work on our website: https://texpirg.org/feature/usp/responding-crisis

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