President Trump is expected to announce a national emergency later today, but Governor Abbott is already getting a jump on him.
Governor Abbott is declaring a “State of Disaster” for Texas due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Before anyone accuses the governor of buying into the hype, that is far from the case.
By declaring the state of disaster, Abbott is now able to take full control of “state agencies, boards, and commissions having emergency responsibilities.”
Rather than relying on local officials to do the right thing or falling risk to their bad decisions, all efforts to fight back against the coronavirus will now go directly through Governor Abbott.
One of his first acts was to declare a drive-thru testing facility in San Antonio with new facilities in Dallas, Houston, and Austin soon to follow.
Abbott has also directed state health agencies to demand nursing homes and assisted living centers and hospitals immediately restrict visitation.
The Governor has not officially banned large gatherings, but he has discouraged them.
In many cases, these gatherings have already been postponed or canceled, such as the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
So far in Texas, 220 people have been tested, with 39 people testing positive.
Testing capabilities are expected to be ramped up significantly in coming days as more testing kits become available.
This is a challenge the administration has faced largely due to the coordination needed with private industry and supply chain demands.
The first case of “community spread” was recently diagnosed in Dallas County when someone with no travel history tested positive.
This is exactly why we are seeing the need to cancel large gatherings and sporting events, simply because those that have been exposed are refusing to self-quarantine to minimize the possible transmission of the virus.
Now that he has declared a state of disaster, we can fully expect Abbott to petition the federal government for aid to fight the coronavirus to get its share of the $8.3 billion fund that was just passed in Congress and signed off on by Trump immediately afterward.
Source: Dallas Morning News
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