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Texas governor shifts blame

You know the safest bet for a politician, don’t you, especially a governor like Texas’s Greg Abbott? When good things happen, you take the credit. When bad things happen, you find a way to divert the blame on to some other poor sap. If someone else finds a way to make things better, you still find a way to take credit. So far, Abbott has succeeded. For example, hopefully by now, most, if not all, people in Hidalgo County know that wearing a face mask in any business is required by county decree. That new requirement went into effect last week. This, while confirmed cases in Hidalgo County along with hospitalizations continue to increase at a relatively steep angle. Two weeks ago, there were 679 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hidalgo County. This Sunday, that number had increased to 1,689, which includes 134 people hospitalized and 16 in intensive care units. Total number of fatalities in this county two weeks ago was 12. That number is now up to 22. The letter to Abbott Two weeks ago, June 16, approximately nine mayors of some of the state’s largest cities wrote a letter to Greg Abbott, pleading with him to allow them to make calls on their own. They claimed that many people in their respective cities were not wearing face masks in public, and that this was one reason for recent spikes in COVID numbers. Simply asking customers to kindly wear a face mask wasn’t working, said the mayors. Many people were still refusing to wear one. The mayors pleaded with the governor to allow them (each city and/or county) to decide whether people should be required to cover their face when entering a public facility (including private businesses). The governor’s business re-opening executive order dated June 3 banned local governments from forming their own ordinances about the wearing of face masks by the people while they’re out in public. In that letter from the nine mayors dated June 16, however, they argued that the governor’s one-size-fits-all approach isn’t working. In other words, some counties, like Hidalgo, are seeing their COVID cases spike, while some are not. In the jurisdictions where increased hospitalizations, fatalities are occurring, some extra help tools are needed; and a big part of that help, wrote the mayors, is giving them the ability to require face masks be worn in public for the sake of public health. Here’s how part of the letter reads: “We ...

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