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Our petty Governor


Gov. Greg Abbott met with hospital executives in Houston on Tuesday to discuss the state’s coronavirus vaccine rollout, while appearing to snub city and county officials who are overseeing a bulk of the distribution.

The Republican governor said the county, and specifically Houston Methodist Hospital, is leading the state in vaccinations, with more than 250,000 doses administered through the weekend. Dallas County is second for the most shots given, he said.

“Houston Methodist has helped Texas become a national model for the vaccination program,” Abbott said, following a closed-door meeting with executives at the hospital.


In a tweet over the weekend, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said city and county health officials had not been invited to participate in the governor’s meeting.

“Any roundtable conversation in Houston about vaccine distribution in Houston, Harris County region should include diverse representation to ensure there is equitable vaccine distribution to at risk, vulnerable communities,” Turner wrote.

Abbott has been repeatedly at odds with Democratic municipal leaders including Turner and County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who have asked for stricter emergency restrictions to slow the spread of the pandemic. The state has recorded more than 32,000 coronavirus deaths since March, and remains in the midst of a massive second surge.

The city and county are currently receiving about 17,000 vaccine doses each week, combined.

Asked about why municipal health leaders were excluded from the discussion, Abbott said state agencies are in “constant communication with local officials, and that process will continue.”

Abbott’s gonna Abbott. Remember how back at the beginning of the pandemic he was happy to let Mayors and County Judges lead when they were doing the hard and unpopular work, and then later he just cut them completely out of everything once he caught some heat from the wingnut faction over masks and quarantines? It’s who he is and what he is, and we shouldn’t be surprised. No wonder Mayor Turner is asking for more direct control of vaccine doses.

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  1. Jason Hochman says:

    Texas leads populous states in vaccination rates. We should be thanking the state government. You could be in a Democrat state with a failed government. In California, people want to recall their governor, and one of the vaccine freezers in California broke, so they had to run out on the street and vaccinate every passerby. In New York, people are so sick of their Governor Cuomo, that there was a petition to ban him from attending the Bills playoff games in Orchard Park. We should be grateful, not complaining.

    As Turner says, “it is what it is” and what it is, is that the city has its hands full of its failures. When I asked Turner about the deadly Murder Epidemic in Houston, and what was his plan, he told me that he threw a lot of money at the police department for over time. Which is not a plan, really. Nobody diagnosed the problem, came up with steps to solve it, and implemented the action. They just threw money at the police. Very convenient, because then Turner can blame the police, and say, “we gave you 8 million dollars extra, why is the lethal murder epidemic still going on?”

    We have got to get a handle on the Murder Epidemic, which is taking the lives of many young people, while Covid 19 fatalities were 70% people over 80 years old. Not saying that is OK, but the life expectancy in the US is under 80.

  2. Manny says:

    Jason will you ever leave the fascist party. Numbers by themselves mean nothing. For one thing, the data that Texas is putting out may be a fabrication, which means they are lying.

    From a Texas Tribune article;

    “Health care providers feared those inaccurate numbers, collected by the state’s immunization registry, ImmTrac2, and another system were being used by the state to decide who would get the weekly allotment of vaccine — and by others to decide who would get blamed for moving too slowly as a desperate public clamored for shots.”

    Plus you have a problem with being able, to tell the truth, Jason.

  3. Jason Hochman says:

    Yes, Manny, you are brainwashed by the so called news that we have in this country. If you aren’t angry and afraid, something is wrong. That is the mission of our so called news. It doesn’t matter which one of the corrupt two parties the news supports. It is all propaganda.

    I get my numbers for the vaccination rates from the CDC tracker.

    I read in Politico about the dissatisfaction with California Gov. Newsom.

    The mayor of Houston answered my question by stating that more money was being given to the police. Again, that’s not a “plan.” If you are sick and give your doctor a lot of money, that’s not treatment. If your car breaks and you give your mechanic a lot of money, it won’t do any good unless the mechanic can diagnose the problem and implement the steps to remedy it.

    I just read last week from Click 2 Houston that there were FOUR murders reported in Jan. 14 before noon. They don’t care about Operation Stay Safe. Staying safe is just about closing small business so that the oligarchs can get more money.

  4. Lobo says:

    Hochman: Vaccine distribution and murder prevention don’t have much in common. You might say that money/funding is a necessary condition for government to do anything (carry out public policy), not a sufficient one, and who is going to disagree with that? You got more money, you can do more. But you also gotta use the resources wisely to achieve policy goals. That’s where the applied sciences known as policymaking and public administration come in.

    Here, the limited resource constraint is not so much money, but available supply of vaccine.

    Turning to Abbott, what’s the point even of a “round table” if he excludes the most important public policy stakeholders in the visited jurisdiction? (City and County leader/health authorities).

    The hospital can do just fine all by itself. So, we learn that they have shown themselves capable of vaccinating their staff and their existing patients/customer base. Gee, that’s great, but wouldn’t you expect that hospitals would have the capacity to provide a medical services to their own patients/customer base? Why do we need the Governor to give us the news. And why and how is this “news”? It’s a photo op, much rather, and an opportunity for self-promotion.

    Once more, Abbott used the occasion to pat himself on the back (never before have we as a State vaccinated so many people in such a short time).

    Thanks to the excellent reporting by the Texas Tribune, we now know that the State didn’t even set up a workable computer system of statewide reach that would interface with frontline operations (lack of compatibility/interoperability), causing such problems as a need to manually re-enter patient data after-hours because batch transfer of data wasn’t possible. Pathetic! And they had months to get ready for this.

    And the designation of priority (first-in-line) categories was messed up too. The size of the priority group as designated by “the State” was much larger than the number of available doses, as noted by Lina Hidalgo, who has a much better grip of basic concepts of public policy, and has the demonstrated capacity to think systemically which many lawyers (such as Abbott) obstensibly lack because their mindset is case-focused, not community-focused (macro, big picture).


    Not to mention that they are always looking for “precedent”. No, can’t do that. That’s never been done before. That was the Supremes’ rationale for prohibiting Chris Hollins from innovatively promoting absentee voting (and thereby easing congestion at polling places) by mailing absentee ballot applications to all Harris County voters.


    The minimum age could have been set higher, for example, to deal with demand-supply imbalance in the start-up phase of the vaccination problem. It’s a basic actuarial issue: There are fewer people above the age of 75 than 65, and there is pretty good data on the age-structure of the population, so the size on any one age-defined annual layer can be estimated with pretty good confidence. Once more doses are available, the age of eligibility can be lowered to correspond with supply. That would be a straightforward objective criterion that is easy to implement and enforce because a person’s age is know to themselves, and verifiable. And for existing customers with (health) records, it’s already in the database.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    “Hochman: Vaccine distribution and murder prevention don’t have much in common.”

    Not according to the left, who have accused Trump of murdering Americans with the virus, because, well, I really don’t even understand the pretzel logic used for that whopper, but there it is. Trump murdered 400,000 Americans, but Democrat governors who ordered virus patients into nursing homes didn’t murder anyone, and they were actually heroic, just like the PA Secretary of Health, who pulled xer own mother out of a nursing home before ordering it flooded with virus patients.

    Speaking of, Joe Biden has murdered around 4,000 people in the 24 hours that have just about passed since he was sworn in. Hey, I’m just using the exact metric and logic we used against Trump here.

  6. Flypusher says:

    If you want to credibly accuse Biden here Bill, you will need to come up with a deliberate LIE he told about the pandemic, equivalent to all the whoppers Trump told.

    As for Gov. Cuomo, he did screw up big with the nursing homes, and I don’t defend him on that. Thing is, he’s going to have to answer to his constituents on his pandemic management next election, just like Trump did.

  7. Lobo says:


    Folks, here is our National COVID Plan.

    Biden just announced it to the Nation, and the WH server didn’t crash when I went to download it. Kudos!

    National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response
    and Pandemic Preparedness
    January 21, 2021 (200 pages)

    Also, things will get worse before they get better. Now we have straight talk.

  8. Manny says:

    Jason you are not very smart. If I am brainwashed by the news, how do you get the information?

    I don’t watch news, I read, Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times, Houston Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, Texas Tribune, Texas Monthly, Daily Beast, ACLU sends me news, Immigration Lawyer, those I subscribe to or donate to.

    Jason you are the one that is running scared, what is scaring you? Losing your fascist leader?

    By the way 60 percent is failing, so we are above other large population states is a misleading statement as we are still failing.

  9. Lobo says:


    Jason: I am not saying it’s not meaningful to compare the shot numbers and vax rates with other states, but it’s just a relative measure: it gives us an idea of comparative (in)effectiveness, if you will. Data quality and currency, of course, is always a concern.

    On the premise that cross-jurisdictional comparisons are useful — and I agree that they are — we should also compare with other countries.

    Here is such data:

    Note that Israel and the UAE lead the pack, by far.

    Also, Turkey reportedly managed to vaccinate 1 million people in the 1st week.

    Bottom line: The emphasis should be on getting the job done, and less so on gloating about how “great” a job we are supposedly doing (compared to other stragglers).

  10. Jason Hochman says:

    Lobo, as usual you have some good points and I agree that there is a need for improvement in the vaccination program. But, we should be aware that Texas is doing better than other comparable states, and that totally changing things and starting all over again, might not be the best. Instead, continue to refine the state program.

    I agree that vaccine distribution and murder prevention don’t have much in common. My point in mentioning that is simply that the city has its hands full already, without embarking on another big project. And that the city has demonstrated an ineptitude for planning.

    One thing about cross jurisdictional comparison is that I am comparing Texas to other populous states, for example New York and California. Comparing the US to Israel is a little less helpful of a comparison, when you consider Israel has a population of about 8 or 9 million, about the same as New York City. Israel has a few large urban centers with much of the populace concentrated there: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem.

  11. Manny says:

    Jason, I have no idea where you get your data from, but both New York and Florida are doing better than Texas. Texas is ahead of California.

    But those belonging to the Fascist Party have a tendency to engage in the fabrication of the truth.

    But if one wants to look at a result one has to look at the end of the race. It is premature to say that any state has a better method. Florida has a line-up and we will vaccinate you, thus very long lines and people flying into Florida to get vaccines, including people from other countries.

    Ond does not know what horse will win the race by looking at who is ahead after the first turn.

  12. C.L. says:

    Fascists here, fascists there, fascists everywhere. After a while your words have no meaning.

  13. Lobo says:

    RE: “Florida has a line-up and we will vaccinate you, thus very long lines”


    The fallacy here is to assume somehow that the supply will magically increase so everyone in the line will get the vaccine. What instead happens is that they run out of doses, and the excess people in line are sent home, perhaps after many hours of waiting. Totally inefficient, and the rationing still happens. This is essentially the breadline system with no Jesus on site to turn one loaf of bread into a number that matches the number of empty stomachs. Smart policymakers don’t have to field-test/parking-lot-test his approach to understand ex ante that this is a very bad system.

    As for praising such an allocation method, it’s a classic case of inability or unwillingness to distinguish the individual level (can I get it, and if I already managed to get it, then it shows that there is no problem) and the macro level (how many doses do we have / people that need/want them).


    Manny: With vax data, the *truth* is not easily checked and verified because of the problems with the quality of the time-sensitive data. If you read the Trib. coverage diligently, you will be sensitized to this issue (in Texas, the statewide data collection system was not functioning properly). That said, it may actually have resulted in under-reporting/delayed reporting of shots given (as with COVID deaths), and may have underestimated performance (% of shots administered out of N of doses shipped).

    It’s unreasonable to assume that the data-collection/reporting practices are the same among states, so the heterogeneity in data quality then undermines comparability.

    Same goes for cross-national comparisons, which pose additional comparability problems having to do with their political and administrative systems. That said, if other countries do much better, and you can reasonably assume that their data is reliable, it gives us an idea about what is humanly feasible, and look at such jurisdictions to see what might be learned from them.

  14. Manny says:

    C.L. don’t know what world you live in, but actually what you wrote is not true, why do you think the Fascist/Republican Party refers to Democrats as socialists and communists. I would suggest that you read more about how people are taught to learn to hate others.

    There are quite a few books on how people are dehumanized.

    But here is a short article on that;

    Because you don’t know what I am doing, don’t assume that I don’t know what I am doing.

    The Fascist/Republican or I could say the Racist/Republican Party know what they are doing. By the way, I am not the only one that has started referring to them as the fascist party.

  15. Manny says:

    Lobo, I did read the article, but what good would that information do with the likes of Jason?

    Israel has had one of the most successful vaccinations in the world. But they do have an advantage;

  16. Jason Hochman says:

    Manny, you are correct that Florida and New York have now passed Texas in doses administered per 100,000. This was not the case a few days ago. This is on the CDC vaccine tracker. I have not “fabricated” any truth.

    You should also note that FL, NY, and CA have all received a greater number of doses per 100,000. According to the vaccine tracker as of today. Keep in mind that the numbers are updated daily.

    Just because I want the federal government to make a national diktat for wearing masks, and to eliminate certain words from the language, that doesn’t make me a fascist.