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Governor Abbott,

I have concluded reviewing your Executive Order GA-14 and am shocked. It is hard to believe you instituted this Executive Order given the statistics so far. The problems of New York City are not the problems of Texas. No city in Texas is like New York City. Lampasas, Amarillo, and Plano are never going to experience the problems they are having a New York City. Right now, there are over 122,000 cases in New York State, yet we have less than 6,800 cases of coronavirus in Texas. This should surely indicate to you the threat assessment is vastly different from New York.

More importantly, New York City is experiencing the consequence of the policies implemented by their politicians. These politicians were telling people as late as March 9, 2020, that if you are 50 years of age or below, carry on as normal. Moreover, transportation in New York City is vastly conducted by subway trains. Watching, even today, the videos of everyone crammed in the subway system is astounding. Our politicians in this state knew better. They immediately began warning the public to restrict their movements. In addition, we Texans are spread out much more than in New York City, and the method we transport people in this state is unlike New York City. Nevertheless, all of the high-density counties already implemented the very order you implemented statewide.

From the evidence and the clear differences between our state and New York City, why in God’s name did you decide to shut down virtually the entire economy of Texas? From the evidence, the risk did not justify this action because people were already limiting their movement but continuing to survive. You should have allowed the county judges to make the decision of what was best for their county. Now, you have interjected yourself by shutting down the economies of all 254 counties in Texas. You did this even though only 22 counties in Texas have more than 50 coronavirus cases. Even my own county, with 1,000,000 people, we only have 256 cases and 3 deaths. Why, please tell me why, you felt it a statewide emergency to shut down the economies in every county in Texas when the threat clearly did not exist or the county already implemented your order.

The citizens of Texas expect you NOT to panic but rather make reasoned, logical, and wise decisions. Nevertheless, your path is contrary to the path taken by President Trump. He allowed those closest to the situation to make the decision to limit the risk of exponential growth. Instead, you chose to enter a one-size-fits-all order when this threat did not exist for every county. Are you going to pay the mortgages of the people in these 232 counties who no longer can go to work? Are you going to make the car payment for these people? Are you going to pay the lease payments of the businesses you shut down in these counties? Of course you are not.

In contrast, you will have no trouble making your mortgage, your car payment, and your other obligations because you continue to receive your wage. Meanwhile, you cause everybody else to suffer because you are panicking. Obviously, your cure for these 232 counties is far, far worse than the disease. I strongly urge you and plead with you to lift GA-14 and empower the county judges for each respective county to properly assess the threat and determine what order is appropriate for their county. This is exactly the prescription President Trump is taking by allowing those closest to the situation to make the judgment call.

When the dust settles, we will all look back and see this risk was not as great as portrayed. Unless you stop panicking, seriously assess the threat on a county-by-county basis, and only implement GA-14 for those counties you feel are not properly assessing the risk, then you will demonstrate your judgment as governor of Texas is wanting.

Texas Forever,

John G. Meazell

This open letter was submitted and published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to [email protected].