Amid rumors that Gov. Greg Abbott is considering shutting down portions of the state’s economy or empowering local officials to do it for him, two prominent Republican lawmakers are making headlines this week after aggressively opposing such a measure.
Republican State Sens. Paul Bettencourt (Houston) and Brandon Creighton (Conroe) issued a press release Tuesday afternoon, making clear their staunch opposition to a second shutdown of the Texas economy. Their statement comes after Democrat Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Democrat County Judge Lina Hidalgo have both requested Abbott impose restrictions on the state’s largest city and county.
In their press release, Bettencourt and Creighton cite hospitalization trends in the Texas Medical Center and provided a chart indicating rates are going down.
“The TMC ‘Daily New COVID-19 Hospitalizations’ chart clearly shows we are past the July 5th peak as new hospitalizations have come down steadily and flat-lined for the past three days. This great news shows we can continue to keep the Texas economy open and fight the virus at the same time,” said Bettencourt.
“Harris County Judge Hidalgo and Mayor Turner’s repeated requests for another lockdown are clearly misplaced by the facts, and Gov. Abbott is right to continue to resist such non-factually based requests for a second lockdown of the Texas economy,” he added.
According to the lawmakers’ press release:
“This daily data comes from the TMC, and additional data from Texas DSHS shows that total hospitalizations in the State of Texas have flat-lined over the last week due in part from these lowered COVID-19 admissions. The SD7 derivative chart proves the slope of the hospitalization line has been negative the entire month of July.”
Creighton says the declining trend is evidence that a second shutdown is unnecessary.
“My office and Sen. Bettencourt’s released an analysis last week showing clearly the new TMC COVID hospitalizations were decreasing. Now we know the trend is continuing,” said Sen. Creighton. “We can fight COVID and keep our Texas economy open. We can do this!”
While rumors persist that Abbott will either issue a statewide order or empower local officials to shut down much of the state’s economy, few further actions have been taken in the past few weeks to substantiate an enforcement scheme greater than the status quo.