With President Donald Trump and grassroots citizens across America calling on governors to chart a course through the Chinese coronavirus pandemic and government-mandated shutdowns that have devastated the economy, Gov. Greg Abbott finally stepped forward with a plan … to appoint a committee to come up with a plan in 10 days.
In a press conference Friday in which his fellow elected officials and bureaucrats applauded him for his “bold leadership,” Abbott announced he would be announcing a plan to re-open the state’s economy on April 27th.
“Texans are battling a colossal challenge: an invisible enemy that has tested our lives and our livelihoods. But overcoming challenges is part of who we are as Texans,” said Abbott. “We have shown that Texas can continue our efforts to contain COVID-19 while also adopting safe standards that will allow us to begin the process of reopening Texas.”
However, Abbott was mum on any actual process of reopening Texas while his plan is purportedly formulated—announcing instead that the state’s schools would remain closed for the duration of the academic school year, retail businesses could operate “to go” (which doesn’t seem to change much), hospitals could perform some elective procedures, and that he’d be announcing future decisions in 10 days.
The governor also dodged a question by reporters on whether his decision to slightly relax the prohibition on elective surgery reopens the door for abortions in the Lone Star State.
The announcements in sum fall far short of the demand Texas grassroots citizens made of him earlier this week when they called on the governor to bring forward a data-driven plan to reopen the state’s economy, based perhaps on the suggestions made by Republican State Reps. Matt Krause and Mike Lang.
Both of those lawmakers recommended Abbott take commonsense measures like ending the distinction between essential and non-essential businesses and put some teeth in protections for religious gatherings. None of those seem to be on the horizon any time soon, with Texans left to wonder when their rights will be restored.
Instead, Texans looking for leadership are going to continue to be left to the whims of their local government officials—many of whom have become outright tyrannical in their seizing of power—hoping that real relief and a productive plan will be delivered on April 27.