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This is the email I just sent to Tarrant County commissioners. I urge everyone else to write or call and let them know your thoughts on the issue of shelter-in-place orders. Their next meeting is tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Dear Judge Whitley and Commissioners,

After listening to last night’s emergency meeting, I am writing to you today to strongly urge you to refrain from Shelter in Place orders at this time. Jumping to this nuclear option now is just not prudent when we have not even given the orders for social distancing—and encouraging groups of less than ten people—time to have an effect. Most people are doing the right thing—staying home, limiting activities to necessities, and taking personal care to mitigate the spread of the virus. Let the people govern themselves.

Stanford biophysicist and Nobel Laureate Michael Levitt has studied the stats on this virus since it first appeared in China. In an article from The LA Times, he predicts a brighter outcome than most:

“While many epidemiologists are warning of months, or even years, of massive social disruption and millions of deaths, Levitt says the data simply don’t support such a dire scenario—especially in areas where reasonable social distancing measures are in place.”

Dr. Levitt may or may not be proven right, but we’ll never know if we don’t give it a chance. Moving to the nuclear option of complete shut down is causing unprecedented harm to our culture, our economy, and our county as we know and cherish it. We need to first allow the “reasonable measures” to take effect. You have implemented reasonable measures, now allow us, the citizens of Tarrant County, to make them effective.

In closing, may I remind you that our country was founded on the principle of self-governance. But with the power of self-governance comes responsibility. We should not look to government to care for each other—we should do it ourselves. Please allow us to do that. All over the country, I see people stepping up to help each other, corporations volunteering to contribute needed supplies and equipment, neighbors helping neighbors, and people doing the right things and heeding advisories. Give us credit for knowing how to care for ourselves, and don’t stomp on our constitutionally guaranteed rights. Please!

Thank you, and God Bless,

Fran Rhodes
President, True Texas Project

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