Texas Gov. Greg Abbott followed President Donald Trump’s advice for reopening Texas, which has resulted record COVID-19 cases.
Texas didn’t meet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, but Abbott began phased reopening on May 18, noted the Texas Tribune.
The Texas Tribune reported that Abbott chose to follow hospitalization levels and the positivity rate, which means he was always playing catch-up instead of prevention.
CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem said that Abbott and Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona had proudly defied expert advice by pushing to reopen their states too early:
In Texas, you have a governor who for months is [saying], ‘Everyone go out and about,’ and now I think is seeing the writing on the wall. He’s recommending masks, he’s telling people to stay inside. Reality is hitting these governors, one by one, in what is happening in those states.
Abbott, who has repeatedly ignored medical science and opposed everyone wearing masks, flip-flopped during an interview with KBTX:
We want to make sure that everyone reinforces the best safe practices of wearing a mask, hand sanitization, maintaining safe distance, but importantly, because the spread is so rampant right now, there’s never a reason for you to have to leave your home.