America’s two largest Republican states — Texas and Florida — have announced that they will not be going into any more lockdowns as coronavirus cases surge across the country. The news comes as 45 out of 50 states have seen at least a 10% increase in coronavirus cases from the previous week.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott “said in an interview that there won’t be ‘any more lockdowns’ in the state and he wants to focus on ‘working to heal those who have Covid’ so they can leave the hospitals and get back to their normal routines,” NBC News reported. “A spokesperson for the governor told NBC News on Wednesday that Abbott’s plan to slow the spread of the virus will rely on ‘the data-driven hospitalization metrics used by doctors and medical experts.'”
Renae Eze, a spokesperson for Abbott’s office, issued the following statement last week outlining the state’s plan to deal with the spike in cases:
As some communities experience a rise in hospitalizations, the state of Texas is working closely with local officials to quickly provide the resources needed to address these spikes and keep Texans safe. The state’s coordination efforts go hand-in-hand with enforcing the existing protocols, a strategy that proved effective in slowing the spread over the summer and containing COVID-19 while allowing businesses to safely operate. The protocols work, but only if they are enforced. The reality is, COVID-19 still exists in Texas and across the globe, and Texans should continue to take this virus seriously and do their part by social distancing, washing their hands, and wearing a mask. These best practices, coupled with the governor’s metrics to monitor COVID-19 hospitalizations and local enforcement of protocols, are key to mitigating this virus and keeping our communities and our people safe.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also dismissed the notion of shutting down his state as cases surge around the country.
“Today we are back down to 4,500 [cases] and a 7.3% positivity rate,” a spokesperson for Governor DeSantis told CBS12 News. “We believe yesterday’s high number was due to a large submission file and skewed the numbers for that day. The Governor will not lock down and hurt families who can’t afford to shelter in place for 6 weeks. Especially not for a virus that has a 99.8% survival rate. One area of concern is Assisted Living Facilities. Since those over 70 face the greatest threat from [COVID] the Governor is monitoring those numbers daily and is prepared to move therapeutic and prophylactic assets to those facilities as needed.”