On Sunday morning, in yet another example of the current trend of politicians exerting outsized influence, the 29-year-old CEO of Harris County, Texas, County Judge Lina Hidalgo, told people in her constituency to inform on businesses that were open or restaurants at full capacity and report them to the state.
Hidalgo tweeted, “See a restaurant at full capacity? Businesses open that shouldn’t be? Help us save lives. If you see violations of Governor Abbott’s order, please report them at bit.ly/Covidform1.”
See a restaurant at full capacity? Businesses open that shouldn’t be? Help us save lives. If you see violations of Governor Abbott’s order, please report them at:
— Harris County Judge (@HarrisCoJudge) May 3, 2020
By Sunday night, that web address triggered a message stating, “This form is currently unavailable!”
On Saturday, Hidalgo announced a new stay-at-home order in Harris County to extend through May 20. She tweeted, “I’ve signed a NEW stay-home work-safe order. Non-essential Harris County businesses and others that were not ‘reopened’ by the Governor’s order need to stay closed through May 20th. We need to remain vigilant for a phased reopening to work.”
I've signed a NEW stay-home work-safe order. Non-essential Harris County businesses and others that were not "reopened" by the Governor's order need to stay closed through May 20th. We need to remain vigilant for a phased reopening to work. pic.twitter.com/ppykvLeLkj
— Lina Hidalgo (@LinaHidalgoTX) May 2, 2020
As HotAir noted, “In March, Hidalgo issued a countywide stay at home order. Harris County is the nation’s third-largest county so that was no small order. Houston is the largest city in Texas. Overnight the economy screeched to a halt, the same as experienced in other places around the United States. By April 22 she issued an order mandating the wearing of masks.”
Hidalgo may have infuriated the local citizens with her actions but former Congressman Beto O’Rourke was delighted with her, ejaculating, “To have Judge Hidalgo take strong, decisive action in the face of this pandemic; some people are going to be upset. But for the vast majority of us — I’m not talking as a Democrat, but as a Texan — it’s really exciting to see that kind of leadership.”
After Texas Governor Greg Abbot announced his plan to reopen the state, Hidalgo stated, “We can’t ignore what is right around the corner. Some see today as a day of celebration…my message to them is not so fast. Reopening doesn’t mean mission accomplished, it doesn’t mean the virus goes away.”
The Houston Chronicle reported last Friday that Hidalgo announced the last step in her four-step plan to restart Houston’s economy; The Chronicle added, “Hidalgo said in a previous press conference that despite her desire to reopen the economy, Abbott’s unexpected timeline was much sooner than she had originally planned for Harris County’s roughly 5 million residents.”
The Texas Tribune reported on April 23 that a Houston-area doctor was suing to block Hidalgo’s order requiring residents over 10 years old to wear face masks places for 30 days when they appeared in public.
Dr. Steven Hotze stated in his petition to the Harris County District Court, “The rights we enjoy under the Texas Constitution are being trampled on by Judge Hidalgo, while millions of individuals have lost their jobs and thousands of businesses are on the brink of bankruptcy. If Judge Hidalgo’s Order is not declared unconstitutional and void, once this virus passes, the rights we are afforded under the Texas Constitution will forever be damaged.”
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