Twelve of the 13 Texas House Democrats on Wednesday asked Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to issue a statewide stay-at-home order as U.S. coronavirus cases surged past 200,000.
The Texas Democrats, led by Rep. Filemon Vela, asked Abbott to follow the examples of nearby Kansas, New Mexico and Louisiana — all states with Democratic governors — in issuing the order.
“While we recognize and appreciate your efforts to keep Texans informed and safe in this rapidly evolving crisis, we believe more active countermeasures should be taken to protect Texans,” they wrote.
Scott Gottlieb, President Trump‘s former FDA commissioner, on Sunday, issued warnings to Texas and Florida, citing increasing infection counts in cities like Dallas.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a close Trump ally, issued a statewide stay-at-home order Wednesday.
Abbott on Tuesday asked Texans to stay at home from Thursday until April 30, except for essential trips but declined to call his request a “stay-at-home” or “shelter-in-place” order.
“States that have adopted ‘stay-at-home’ policies or even some that use ‘shelter-in-place’ are very close to ours, which is, if you had to put a label on it, it would be ‘essential services and activities only,’ ” said Abbott, according to the Texas Tribune.
The heads of the Texas Hospital Association and Texas Nurses Association called on Abbott on Wednesday to formalize his stay-at-home order, reported Austin station KXAN.
And the Texas Democrats warned that the state has a narrow time window in which to prepare for a surge in infections.
“In order for us to stop the further spread of the virus in Texas, rapid and more severe restrictions are needed,” they wrote.
“We, therefore, call on you to adopt a stay-at-home order for the entire state of Texas,” they added.
Joining Vela were Reps. Joaquin Castro, Lloyd Doggett, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Veronica Escobar, Sheila Jackson Lee, Colin Allred, Vicente Gonzalez, Sylvia Garcia, Henry Cuellar, Lizzie Fletcher and Marc Veasey.
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