Even the White House thinks Texas sucks at COVID response

I mean

The White House Coronavirus Task Force says Texas is in the swing of a “full resurgence” of COVID-19 and the state’s mitigation efforts “must intensify,” while Gov. Greg Abbott and other leaders decline to take some of the steps the Trump administration is recommending.

A report issued by the task force before the Thanksgiving holiday calls for Texas to significantly reduce maximum occupancy for public and private indoor spaces and to conduct weekly coronavirus testing of teachers, college students, county workers, hospital personnel and others.

“Texas continues to be in a full resurgence and mitigation efforts must intensify,” the Nov. 22 report says. “The silent community spread that precedes and continues to drive these surges can only be identified and interrupted through proactive, focused testing.”

The White House sends such reports to states weekly, but they are not typically made available to the public. The report was published by the Center for Public Integrity.

Three days before the report was issued, Abbott was assuring the public that local officials had been provided with all the tools they need to slow outbreaks, including a requirement that Texans wear masks indoors in public places and when patronizing businesses.

Abbott has also enacted mandatory occupancy reductions — including closing bars — in regions where the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients exceeds 15 percent of capacity for seven straight days.

But Abbott has declined to go further, instead focusing his message on treatment, touting a newly approved drug as proof that “the cavalry is coming.”

There are plenty of local officials who would disagree with Abbott’s assertion that they have all the tools they need.

Mayor Sylvester Turner on Tuesday said he agreed with the White House report’s findings and implored Abbott to take a harder line or give local officials back the powers they had in the spring.

“We determined what the occupancy limits were going to be in large part. We had the ability to say ‘no,’” said Turner, who took questions from reporters after a holiday-themed event at City Hall. “The tools that we had in March and April, we no longer have. We are not driving this car. County judges and mayors are more like passengers. The state is driving the car.”

In addition to Abbott’s May preemption of local restrictions, bars that collect less than 51 percent of their revenue from alcohol also can reopen as restaurants, and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in August made that easier by broadening the scope of revenue they can count as not stemming from alcohol sales.

“Bars can be open. So, we’re doing what we can to limit gatherings, but that’s a big, big problem,” Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said during Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting of Commissioners Court. “Because these things have been allowed, we’re seeing the numbers we’re seeing again now.”

Measures of the virus’ spread, Hidalgo noted, approximate the levels being reported when she placed the county at its worst, “red” threat level in June.

“It was soon after that that the governor pulled back a little bit, and the numbers kept climbing until finally they peaked at a level where they routinely exceeded base hospital capacity” in intensive care units, she said. “And so if we go much longer without action, we’re going to be in a bad place.”

One option the city does have is a curfew, which has been implemented in El Paso and San Antonio. Turner said he reserves the right to implement one in Houston, but views that as a “nuclear option” that punishes good actors along with the bad.

The mayor said he is trying to keep people alive for the next few months, until vaccines become available and strengthen the fight to contain the virus’ spread.

“My appeal to the governor is to join with us and do the same,” he said.

Remember how they once had to solve the riddle of the Sphinx to unlock some of those tools in the first place? Boy, those were the days. The Chron story notes that while the local numbers aren’t as bad as they were in July, they are all on an upward trend. That ain’t good.

What could be done? In addition to letting the locals actually do the things they want to do, Abbott could issue a new mask mandate, with enforceable penalties attached, and take the heat from the wingnuts for it. He could order more enforcement of bar and restaurant occupancy limits, to crack down on the bad actors. It also remains true that Abbott could be exhorting our two Republican Senators to get off their asses and support a big COVID relief bill that would get affected businesses through the next few weeks. Even this wholly inadequate effort would be better than nothing. “Doing nothing while we wait for the vaccine and try out new treatments for the many people who get sick” and “completely shutting down everything with no financial relief for anyone” aren’t the only options available. The Trib has more.

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19 Responses to Even the White House thinks Texas sucks at COVID response

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    “Stay home if you can…..this is not the time to relax.”

    ~Austin Mayor Steve Adler, a message to the public while he was down vacationing with friends and family in Cabo


    Rules for thee……

  2. Jules says:

    Maybe Adler will jump off a cliff so all the lowest-denominator seekers will follow

  3. brad says:

    I demand a re-count. Trump says we are “rounding the turn”.

    These catastrophic numbers can’t be true… https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

    I suspect a cabal of satanic state election officials in Georgia have somehow juggled the numbers.

  4. Bill Daniels says:


    Recounting the total number of cases isn’t going to really tell you anything. Doing a little bit more in depth analysis will. Find out what the people who died of the Wu flu actually died from.

    Did they get scraped off the street from a shooting or traffic accident, then tested positive at the ER for Wu flu? OK, then, we really need to know what they died of. Did they bleed out on the operating table, or die from the trauma of the car wreck? If so, they died WITH covid, but not FROM covid. Did they come in for stage 4 cancer, had no immune system left, and caught covid? That’s a little bit more gray. How do you count that? They were pretty much dead already, the covid was just the final nail.

    The metric that would be interesting to know is, how many people directly died FROM the Wu flu, and I agree that it can and does kill people It’s a serious thing if you are one of the unlucky who it hits hard. I know someone who had it, was hit hard for a couple weeks, and now is suffering from pneumonia resulting from the covid issues. He took HQC, but didn’t take the azithromycin, and suspects that had he taken the course of azithromycin, he would have preempted the secondary pneumonia and wouldn’t be afflicted with pneumonia right now.

  5. Manny says:

    Bill if your kind weren’t so F**ing dangerous to Democracy you would be hilarious.

  6. Bill Daniels says:


    Did you watch the video of your team rigging the Georgia election? Did you see the 4 Dem Fulton County election workers kick everybody out of the count room, then, when everyone was gone, they pulled unmarked suitcases out from under the table and started running ballots through the counting machine, with nobody watching? Did you see 4 Democrat election workers willfully and purposefully commit a felony, caught on surveillance cameras and confirmed by witness affidavits? And you want to tell me about dangerous to democracy?

    You should be ashamed at what your people have done, but you have ZERO shame. It’s unconscionable. I wouldn’t be surprised if you weren’t part of Sheila Jackson Lee’s local vote rigging effort. Not one bit.

    You don’t get to lecture me about democracy, Manny.

  7. Bill Daniels says:

    Georgia video, for your viewing pleasure. I guess these folks forgot that big stadiums are all wired for video surveillance these days. Oopsie!


  8. Jules says:

    Hopefully the Georgia Republicans will do the right thing and boycott the Senate runoffs.

  9. Bill Daniels says:


    If the provable fraud turns out to be significant enough, which I think it will, there might not NEED to be a runoff election for the two senate seats, especially for Purdue. They might be determined to have already won.

    Alternatively, the fraud might be so bad and hard to untangle that a new statewide election might have to be redone with non Dominion equipment. Personally, I’d be just fine if Trump invoked the insurrection act and had our military conduct the vote like they do for other countries overseas. Dip people’s index fingers in indelible ink, and drastically restrict the number of folks that can vote by mail. Want to vote? Show ID and dip your finger in the ink. Easy peasy. Shame it has to come to that, but……

  10. Brad says:

    Bill, what color of Kool-Aid are you drinking? Is it green or is it red?

  11. voter_worker says:

    Yeah, like people who won’t wear a mask are going to suddenly become model citizens and go along with inking their fingers. If you think our election system is really as flawed as your fanciful mind ramblings tell you it is, don’t use it. Problem solved. By the way, a Republican Florida lawyer just got busted for promoting his scheme to live at his bro’s house in GA for a month so he could register and get Perdue and Loeffler over the hump with his pathetic illegal vote. Georgia’s elections are run by hard-assed Republicans and yet we have people claiming they are sinister criminals who gave it all to Joe and Kamala.

  12. Bill Daniels says:


    From your question, I can see you didn’t watch the Georgia Senate election fraud hearing yesterday. If you had, you’d probably not be posting, not wanting to look stupid like Sen. Elena Parent, who claimed “debooooonked” after watching a surveillance video of the fraud happening, just as multiple witnesses (including at least one Democrat) testified that it did. The video was just released publicly the night before the hearing, so who, exactly, ‘debooooonked’ it, and the corresponding affidavits of said fraud? Name names. Elena couldn’t.

    We SAW the poll watchers, press, and everyone else herded out of the room, then those 4 eager beaver workers coming back when no one else was around, loading ballots from suitcases hidden under a table into the counting machine. For God’s sake, Brad….y’all got caught, red handed!

    If you don’t want to spend hours listening and watching, this is a helpful Cliff’s Note version of just part of the revealed fraud. And the time period where this secretive ballot stuffing occurred matches up completely with that mysterious batch of over 23K ballots that went almost exclusively for Joe. I mean, what are the odds that when these 4 honest citizens in the middle of the night chose to work tirelessly, and in secret, that virtually all the ballots they counted were for Biden. That’s a real head scratcher, Brad.


    You’ve been told HOW you cheated, by people who face prison if they lie, and you’ve been shown actual VIDEO of the cheating going on, and you’ve been shown election results that are a clear aberration, until you put it all together, and then it makes perfect sense.

  13. Manny says:

    Bill did you catch the actual perpetrators to be Republican operatives from Florida, you guys are the most dangerous group of people our democracy has faced since the 1860s.


    I would respond to the stupidity that you posted but it would go over your head, it so racist that it can’t see clearly.

  14. Manny says:

    Bill to put it mildly if you lived during the American Revolution you would be a Tory in need of a king that would tell you when to go take a dump.

  15. brad says:


    How many Republican judges has seen the evidence you are talking about?

    How many Republican judges have bounced the Trump’s Keystone Kops Legal Team out their courtroom after seeing this so-called “evidence”?

  16. voter_worker says:

    Somehow Fulton County is NOT under the same scrutiny from the GA SOS as every other county is? Brian Kemp barely beat Stacey Abrams and now he’s throwing it all away to help out Biden? If I had wanted to read fairy tales this morning I would have gone to some other site. .

  17. brad says:


    You got me. Your lucid, fact based commentary has swung me over to your side.

    I am now a committed right-winger.

    When is the next meeting that I can get my GOP membership card from the Easter Bunny? Or is it Sasquatch? Or is it Elvis? Or is it the Lochness Monster?

  18. Jules says:

    Thank you Charles!!!!

  19. voter_worker says:

    Moderation appreciated. Thanks Jules and Charles.

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