Greg Abbott’s Balancing Act: How Soon Is Too Soon To Reopen Texas?

It isn’t clear what the governor will include in his latest plan for reopening the economy, but Abbott has said he wants more Texas businesses open – smartly and safely.

By Jill AmentApril 27, 2020 11:17 am, , ,

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to announce new measures on Monday that are related to COVID-19 restrictions on Texas businesses and citizens. It’s unclear what changes Abbott will make to existing executive orders, but the governor has indicated a desire to loosen restrictions as soon as he can safely do so.

Among the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Texas ranks 41st in the nation, per million persons, when it comes to COVID-19 deaths, and hospital capacity here so far outstrips demand, despite predictions to the contrary,

Jonathan Tilove, chief political writer for the Austin American-Statesman, told Texas Standard that Abbott  has “both set expectations and tried to tamp down expectations”  leading up to the Monday afternoon news conference.

Tilove said Abbott is juggling a desire to get Texas moving again, with his promise to be guided by science as he potentially allows more non-essential businesses to reopen. 

“I think that [Abbott] looks at the peaks for deaths and for the spread as being earlier in May and that he’s got a couple of weeks have not reached that peak again,” Tilove said. “At the same time, both those metrics have inched up in the past few days, so it’s not exactly a crystal-clear pattern of what’s happening.”

Another thorny problem for Abbott is having to please both his conservative supporters, and President Donald Trump, who Tilove said encouraged Kemp to reopen Georgia businesses, but then criticized the governor for doing it.

“It’s dangerous terrain,” Tilove said. “And I think that Abbott has said that he agreed that Kemp went too far too fast.”

Web story by Shelly Brisbin.


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