Abbott’s Coronavirus response is deplorable and criminal.
As of today (6/25/20), Texas’ total coronavirus case count is 137,152. Abbott’s coronavirus response has been terrible, to say the least. He has favored his big-money donors and taken cues from shithead Dan Patrick and decided he is in favor of killing Texans for the sake of the economy.
With our new case count averaging over 5,000 per day and our hospitals running out of capacity, I decided it was a good day to revisit how our incompetent leader, Greg Abbott, has miserably handled his handling of the coronavirus.
Let’s look at a timeline of how things have gone in Texas so far
02/13/2020: The first coronavirus case was detected in San Antonio. There was a group of travelers returning from China, one of them tested positive. Several others were tested, tested negative, and told to go home and self-quarantine. At this same time, Abbott was planning his state-tour to help Republicans all the way down the ballot.
02/17/2020: The Military evacuated some Americans from a cruise ship and transported them to San Antonio. This was back when the CDC was still telling people not to wear masks. Not much going on with our Governor at this time, he was busy on his crusade against the homeless.
02/24/2020: Three more evacuees in San Antonio tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total to six.
Greg Abbott holds his first press conference regarding COVID-19
02/27/2020: Finally, two weeks after the first case in Texas, Greg Abbott held his first press conference. He assured us that nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and healthcare facilities were prepared. We all know how that’s going, now that reports of nursing homes all over the state have at been infected. Abbott’s coronavirus response started with lies.
In the same press conference, he told us that community spread was not happening in Texas. We know now, community infection was happening in Texas in late February.
He also added that Texas had been working well over a month with federal officials and the CDC to prepare for the virus. Of course, we all know now, this was also a lie, since the president and Fox News at the time were still telling people it was a hoax.
The following weeks were filled with ups and downs
03/02/2020: Super Tuesday, Y’all! (I REALLY hope you voted!) The CDC released a patient in San Antonio, who later tested positive, and Abbott slammed the federal government. But, by then the patient had already been to shopping malls, restaurants, everywhere. It may be the only small glimpse of normalcy we’ve seen from our Governor this entire time.
March 2nd was also the day that Abbott accepted the Governor’s Cup award. Which is an award for being CEO’s and corporation’s favorite governor. At this point, Abbott’s coronavirus response was practically non-existent.
03/08/2020: The Diamond Princess evacuated about 90 people with coronavirus to San Antonio. Of course, by this time cases of coronavirus were already spreading to several major cities in Texas. 3 days after Greg Abbott told us Texas could now get tested, he told us they were currently only testing 51 people per day. (Side note: This was also the day Ted Cruz announce he had contact with the coronavirus the first time.)
What about a State of Emergency?
03/10/2020: He asked insurers to wave fees associated with coronavirus testing. No word if any conversations were ever had about waving costs associated with treatment-related to coronavirus. He also never addressed the thousands of sick people who were sick whose doctors told them they likely have coronavirus, but there are no tests available, like with my experience.
03/11/2020: 12 other states had already issued a state of emergency. By the 11th of March, many people who were sick and telling us about how the hospital said they may have coronavirus, but they didn’t have tests. This is also when reports about testing were starting to emerge.
03/13/2020: Trump declares a national emergency. Of course, Abbott followed the leader and declared a statewide emergency, as well. Yet, at this time, Abbott was still resistant to limiting public events. More reports on Texas’ limited capabilities were coming out. We were also all out of toilet paper.
Abbott’s Ramp Up is Still Slow
03/15/2020: Texas finally bans guests at nursing homes. This was around the time that we started hearing a lot about presumptive positives. This means, the doctor thought they were positive, but they had no access to testing. Cities all over Texas were canceling gatherings over 50 people. By March 15, the DSHS was not yet publishing how many tests were being done, or total cases. Yet the Wayback Machine shows us that on March 15, they had 56 new cases.
03/16/2020: The governor had a press conference, where he told us all to expect an exponential increase. He also said that at that time, only 200 people in Texas had been tested, but they were going to ramp it up to 10,000 a week.
03/17/2020: In an interview with KHOU, Abbott’s coronavirus response was to continue and try to assure everything was OK.
03/18/2020: This was the day an unflattering article came out on Politico called, “Why Texas is so far behind other states on virus response.” 2 days after Abbott said we would ramp up to 10,000 tests per week, he then said we were testing 20,000 per week. Yet, the DHDS website shows at the same time Texas had only tested 1,907 people.
03/19/2020: Greg Abbott bans gatherings of 10 people or more.
Abbott stalls on shelter-in-place
03/22/2020: 566 positive cases in Texas, even though Abbott was now acknowledging they were not counting presumptive positives. All over the state, reports were still coming out that people still were unable to get tested.
03/23/2020: The Governor admits that the coronavirus response is beyond the capabilities of Texas and asks Trump for federal aid. By the 23rd of March, there had only been a total of 10,055 tests administered for COVID-19. Abbott still had no plans to shelter-in-place.
03/26/2020: Greg Abbott issued an order which said if you recently traveled to New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, or New Orleans, you must self-quarantine for 14 days. In this March 26th press conference, Abbott asked for PPE donations and healthcare volunteers. Abbott’s coronavirus response was not as great as he wanted people to believe.
03/27/2020: The Texas Tribune wrote a great piece about Abbott being stuck in the middle of Trump and doing the right thing. This is when he also started saying that only 10% of people tested were testing positive.
3/28/2020: Total coronavirus cases in Texas are 1,950.
Testing woes continued through April
03/30/2020: Reports were coming out about how testing in Texas was taking up to 10 days. By this day, only 25,000 Texans had been tested, with 2,500 positives.
03/31/2020: Greg Abbott extends social distancing guidelines, still does not order a shelter-in-place.
04/01/2020: Cities in Texas were reporting they still did not have enough tests. There were also reports of how healthcare workers still didn’t have enough PPE. By this time, Texas had only tested 47,000, with 4,000 positives.
Abbott also promises more PPE is on the way. Texas begins to screen travelers coming from Louisiana. The governor said he has been working closely with the White House, who told him that his efforts were working and Texas was bending the curve.
04/07/2020: The state of Texas was now reporting 88,000 tests had been done and over 8,200 positives were found.
04/08/2020: Abbott promises to increase testing.
04/11/2020: The state of Texas was reporting 115,918 tests and 11,671 positives. Yet, John Hopkins was showing 12,397 current infections. Abbott’s coronavirus response has been slow and filled with lies.
It gets worse.
4/15/2020: Texas has 15,013 Coronavirus cases.
4/17/2020: Abbott announces he plans on reopening the economy but says it will be done slow. He also names his strike-force and that schools will be closed for the rest of the year.
4/20/2020: As cases in Texas hit 23,928, news of Greg Abbott’s coronavirus strike-force being mostly made of his campaign donors was coming out. As you may remember, we went through the backgrounds and donation history of his strike-force. Out of the 57 people on the team, 49 of them were Republicans, 11 of them were billionaires, a few dozen were millionaires, and 40 were CEOs. On top of that, his combined team had donated at least $5.8 million to Abbott in the past.
Yeah, that happened.
4/21/2020: Living Blue in Texas was finding a lot of places where Texas was lying about the TRUE case count.
4/22/2020: 65% of Texas inmates were testing positive for COVID, although that number eventually grew to over 70%. Abbott says he won’t mandate masks and vows to open beauty salons, bars, and restaurants, (spoiler alert: it doesn’t go so well).
4/30/2020: Texas had 27,660 coronavirus cases. Rural counties were reporting the state was under-counting coronavirus cases. Abbott was still planning on reopening, anyway. He also reminded us that Texas was an employment-at-will state, and y’all need to get your asses back to work unless you were high-risk.
5/01/2020: Texas had 28,455 cases.
5/03/2020: Texas reached a record number of deaths, (at that time).
5/04/2020: Abbott goes on Twitter and mischaracterizes the number of people who have recovered from coronavirus.
Then, Abbott’s Coronavirus response is all about Coronavirus Karen.
5/05/2020: After eminence pressure from the RWNJs of the state, along with Coronavirus Karen aka Shelly Luther, and Empower Texans; Abbott basically said, “OK, we’re good now, let’s open everything back up, and let’s open hair salons early. (Of course, we all found out later Abbott did this because he was fooled by Luther’s publicity stunt.)
May 5th was also the day the Progress Texas released the recording of Abbott on a leaked recording saying he knew that if he opened up, cases would increase. If you haven’t heard it before, you should listen. It definitely tells us why we are where we’re at now.
5/06/2020: Texas has 34,508 coronavirus cases.
5/07/2020: The Governor visits the White House and gets showered in praises from the Orange One for freeing Salon Karen from the clinker. Trump tells the rest of America Abbott’s coronavirus response was amazing and he did a great job in opening up Texas. Shelly Luther gets out of jail.
By this time, it was clear to everyone that Abbott’s coronavirus response was politically motivated and not driven by a public health crisis.
5/12/2020: Greg Abbott announces he doesn’t have coronavirus.
5/13/2020: We learned that 1.6 million Texans had lost health insurance because of the coronavirus. Abbott plans on having National Guard disinfect nursing homes. Bar owners pressure Abbott to let them open since Coronavirus Karen was able to open. A lawsuit was filed against Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton over illegal and unconstitutional attempts to suppress minority votes during the pandemic.
Then, there was that whole MTX Group thing.
5/20/2020: Abbott signs a $295 million contract with an unknown company that also has an election canvassing app, to do contact tracing. Last I heard of this, the company still has not upheld their end of the bargain and Texas still needs over 1,000 contact tracers. On 5/10 Abbott also instructs state agencies to be prepared for a 5% budget cut.
5/23/2020: A bunch of armed wing-nuts protest at the Governor’s Mansion, without masks, demanding Abbott open up all the way.
6/03/2020: Abbott’s coronavirus response moves to phase two, businesses can open even more.
He really is an asshole.
6/08/2020: Texas reports record-breaking hospitalizations from coronavirus, (so far).
6/12/2020: Abbott says, no need to scale back, we have plenty of hospital space.
6/22/2020: As cases continue to grow, Greg Abbott went on TV and said everyone should just take personal responsibility.
6/24/2020: Greg Abbott was still talking about how everything was OK, because we had abundant hospital capacity.
6/25/2020: Texas rolls over 135,000 coronavirus cases and is increasing an average of over 5,000 per day. Abbott says Texas we’ll pause anymore reopenings, but still has no plans on scaling back or implementing mask order.
How was Greg Abbott’s coronavirus response?
Instead of requiring masks, he opened up theme parks. Instead of following CDC guidelines, he opened bars. And instead of listening to doctors, he opened gyms.
Texas Penal Code § 19.04 has this to say about Manslaughter:
(a) A person commits an offense if he recklessly causes the death of an individual.
(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree.
Remember all of this when it’s time to vote Abbott out of office in 2022. In the meanwhile, we have to get out all of this man’s enablers. That means down-ballot, Texas HAS TO turn blue in 2020.