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Or will they go down with the ship?

It isn’t just Texas watching, it’s all of America, it’s all of the World. Texans are angry. And it isn’t just those Austin Democrats, it’s everyone. Tomorrow, Greg Abbott is likely to announce his plan to open up Texas. His relationship with Trump is about to hit a whole new level. Texas Republicans have the chance to do the right thing. If they don’t, they will go down with the ship.

Tonight, there is a story on KVUE about House Democrats urging Greg Abbott to take action before opening businesses. The House Democratic caucus is calling on Gov. Abbott to do four things before easing social distancing rules: 

  1. Increase COVID-19 testing
  2. Expand Medicaid
  3. Provide more personal protective equipment to healthcare workers
  4. Increase transparency on long-term care facilities/nursing homes

COVID-19 testing?

Abbott has promised us tests again and again. Where are they? As of 4/16/2020, over two months since Texas had its first infection, we’ve only done 158,547 tests. There are 29 million people in Texas. That’s only 0.5% of the population. Texas has only tested half a percent of the population.

We have no idea how many people are infected. People all over the state still cannot get tested, even when they have all of the symptoms. 

You don’t have to look at the numbers, you just have to talk to actual Texans. Many of us know people who have been sick, very sick, and still can’t get tests. Even counties like Dallas County, which has tested more than any other county in North Texas, still does not have the data needed about Coronavirus. Even now, Dallas County is saying they still don’t have enough tests.

Greg Abbott Cannot Open Until we get More Tests

Republicans in Texas can do the right thing by standing, not just with Democrats, but with all of Texas and demanding we increase our tests exponentially before opening Texas back up.

The consequences otherwise could be hundreds of thousands of Texans’ lives.

Trump’s Base has Taken Over the Entire GOP

Aside from the corporations that keep the Texas GOP paid, Abbott is under pressure for the extreme-right. Today about 15 poorly dressed people showed up in front of the Governor’s Mansion with guns, flags, and a bullhorn demanding that the Governor open the State back up.

Many of the state’s conservative leaders also wrote a letter to Abbott, (calling COVID-19 a Chinese Virus), telling him he needs to trust Texans to self-govern.

I guess that would put him out of a job.

All in all, Greg Abbott is under pressure from big business, the far-right nut-jobs, and all the Evangelical big-wigs to open everything back up. Despite a lack of testing, despite proper PPE, despite many not having access to healthcare, and despite transparency.

Don’t forget, he also wants to suck up to Trump and kiss his butt. Trump wants to use Texas as a poster-child for getting the country back open.

Why is Abbott going along with it? Probably money being slipped to him under the table. Or perhaps, our Governor has aspiration of winning over conservatives all over the country because he’s eyeing a future presidential run.

How low have you sunk when you are willing to let thousands of people die for your career ambitions? This is what the GOP will be remembered for. They don’t have to. Republicans have a chance to do the right thing. But will they?

Expand Medicaid?

While I think that this is something that Texas should do and should have done a long time ago, Democrats may be too ambitious asking for this one. Texas has the highest rate of uninsured people in the country. Thousands of people in Texas die every year without access to adequate healthcare or needed medicines.

While Republicans have the chance to do the right thing in many areas right now, we all know this is something that won’t likely happen until Texas turns blue. The healthcare industry and pharmaceutical industry is too embroiled the GOP in our state. This is why just one of the reasons why they are getting voted out.

More PPE to healthcare workers?

This is not an unreasonable request. Despite Abbott promising us for weeks now that there would be more PPE going out, there is still not enough. Republicans all over the state should be demanding this, along with Democrats.

Making sure that our healthcare workers fighting on the front-lines of this pandemic is not a partisan issue. There should be no question about it. Republicans have a chance to do the right thing, by also demanding Abbott to increase PPE.

Increase Transparency at Nursing Homes?

Everyone is now aware of all the clusters of coronavirus popping up at nursing homes all over the state. Our elderly are being hit hard. With no transparency in place, we don’t know how hard yet.

The people of Texas want to know. Abbott told us back in February that special measures had been taken to protect our most vulnerable communities, including nursing homes. What was done? How many have actually been infected? How many senior living centers in Texas suddenly have a bunch of their residents die of pneumonia, and were never counted as a COVID infection?

Call Your Congressman Now!

Call your congressperson, whether they are red or blue and demand that they stand up to Greg Abbott and demand these things before he opens the state.

Republicans have a chance to do the right thing, and it’s up to us as Texans to make sure they do it. Remember, they work for us. All of us, not just the nut-jobs and the high-rollers. We outnumber them. If they fail to act now, when it’s time to vote them out, we will.

When Texas turns blue, they’ll have no one to blame, but themselves.

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