How well has Gov. Greg Abbott handled the Chinese coronavirus in Texas? Two physicians spoke with Texas Scorecard about how well they believe Texas has faced the Chinese coronavirus while preserving individual liberties under the watch of Gov. Greg Abbott. Neither gave a high rating, and they urge Abbott to follow the facts, not the fear.

“I have been a big fan of Greg Abbott for years,” said Dr. Richard Bartlett, a family medicine and emergency doctor in West Texas. “But I’ve been disappointed lately, and I found out that maybe the decisions he’s made have been based on bad advice, and he has several advisors that I recommend he fire.”

“I think his heart is in the right place, but it’s disappointing that the governor of Florida is leading his people out of this crisis, opening up the state, and giving the freedom back to the citizens of Florida faster than our governor in Texas,” he added.

Texas Scorecard also asked Dr. Simone Gold, a board-certified emergency physician with American Frontline Doctors, her thoughts on Texas’ response.

“I think that Texas has run with the middle of the pack, and I had hopes that Texas would’ve been a leader amongst the states,” Gold replied. “I would urge all governors to keep the United States Constitution first and foremost in their priorities and to weigh all risks and dangers to their citizens against the risk of demolishing the Constitution.”

“We live in a time when people, including governors, must educate themselves and, unfortunately, cannot rely on other people. There’s good information out there, but this is not the public health threat that governors that are locking down states believe it to be. And there’s no substitute for the decision-maker learning the facts himself, and that information is out there,” she said.

Dr. Bartlett also took issue with Abbott’s use of lockdowns in response to the virus.

“The failed strategy of Communist China of shutting businesses and closing schools is a failed strategy,” Bartlett said. “That same failed strategy failed in Italy with 30,000 deaths, and then it went to France with 30,000 deaths, and then it went to Spain with 30,000 deaths.”

Dr. Bartlett pointed out other consequences of the mandates issued by Abbott.

“In Texas, we have had the unthinkable happen, where people are dying alone in hospitals … where a family in West Texas dropped off their loved one at the hospital doorsteps and were told they couldn’t be around him, and then they watched the evening news to find out that their loved one had died,” Bartlett recalled. “That’s how they found out that their loved one had died. This should not be in Texas, and this has happened on Gov. Abbott’s watch.”

But is there a better policy that Abbott could have followed?

“Compare that failed strategy with what they’re doing in Taiwan, where seven people died during the whole nine-month pandemic with [a population of] 24 million people,” Bartlett said. “Compare that failed strategy with the winning strategy of Japan: 121 million people and less than a thousand deaths.”

Dr. Gold agreed.

“The facts do not support the widespread fear, and the United States Constitution is not optional—it exists for moments like this when governors and leaders are faced with difficult choices,” Dr. Gold said. “At this moment, we have fear on one side and we have freedom on the other, and the United States Constitution is not optional. Open up.”

But what can be done if Abbott keeps his mandates going into January 2021, when the next Texas legislative session starts?

“The state of Texas has a regulation that the state of emergency can be declared over by a vote of the Texas Legislature,” Gold said.

“Many dictatorships all over the world start with a state of emergency, [during which] the executive took the power and kept it to themselves and just wouldn’t relinquish it,” Gold said. “So, getting rid of the governor’s statement that it’s an emergency is priority No. 1.”

The November 3 general election is fast approaching for Texans, with early voting beginning on October 13. Concerned Texans can ask their state representative and state senator what they plan to do if Abbott’s mandates continue into January.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.


The Deafening Silence of Fear

It's better we live courageously, fighting for rights and freedom, than cowardly, capitulating to tyranny out of fear, for a little comfort.