The race for the 32nd Congressional District continues to generate headlines as incumbent Colin Allred and challenger Genevieve Collins face off in various debates. For both candidates, the COVID-19 pandemic is top of mind.
UT Southwestern Medical Center says hospitalizations across North Texas are up significantly — the average volume being twice what it was in May. Representative Colin Allred said Texas and the U.S. have seen spikes before.
“We know what we need to do and countries around the world have done this,” Allred said. “We need to dramatically ramp up our testing by a factor of at least three times what we’re doing now…to make sure we’re catching this virus everywhere it rears its ugly head.
We need to contact trace aggressively so we can find out who has come into contact, who has been exposed, so the spread will not continue.”
He feels a unique kinship to those struggling through the pandemic, especially young families. His first child arrived after he took office and his second child is on the way.
“When you can’t send your kid to daycare or school and both you and wife are working full time, and you have to juggle that with your responsibilities. We understand just how hard this has been,” he said.
Allred said that’s why he backs additional aid, through the HEROES act, still being negotiated. As COVID cases rise, he said President Trump and the Republicans are failing, even as other countries have shown the way to slow the virus.
At Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, an early voting location, challenger Genevieve Collins said a recent hospitalization highlighted her own first-hand experience with COVID testing. She underwent an emergency appendectomy.
“I had to wait 14 hours between hospital admission to getting the actual procedure done,” Collins said. “A large part of that was waiting for the COVID test results. And in talking to the nurses and surgeons and doctors at the hospital I was at, all that they talked about was we have tests. We need faster test results.”
Collins blames both Democrats and Republicans for failing to fast-track and distribute effective COVID-19 tests. Allred blames Republicans and President Trump for failures from the start of the pandemic.
A business woman, Collins gained experience in her family’s education company. She said that background gives her the know-how to get things done.
“There are far too many false positives so we need these tests to be much more accurate,” she said. “We have to have some consistency with which test are being the most accurate. And make that uniform across municipalities.”
Working across different municipalities and talking to members of both parties is what she said she’s done at work and would do in Congress.
The North Texas district covers much of Dallas and stretches north and east to Wylie. It was solidly Republican until two years ago, when Democrat Colin Allred defeated Pete Sessions.
Allred cites first term accomplishments as Garland’s new VA hospital, support for the planned bullet train between Dallas and Houston and passage of the federal stimulus CARES act.