Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (TX-16) issued the following statement in response to Governor Greg Abbott’s decision not to extend the stay-at-home executive order and allow the reopening of all retail stores, malls, restaurants, movie theaters, libraries and museums:
“The primary obligation of every public official is the health, safety, and welfare of the residents we have the privilege to represent. Governor Abbott’s decision to prematurely re-open Texas today is a dereliction of that fundamental obligation.
“Texas and El Paso are facing a global pandemic that has devastated lives and our economy, and while we are eager to return to normalcy, we must recognize that before that can happen, we must adequately address the health challenge that caused the economic crisis.
“Robust testing and contact tracing are key to containing the coronavirus pandemic and keeping people safe. Our state has neither of those. Additionally, Texas ranks near the bottom of some of the most important indicators, like number of uninsured Texans and COVID-19 testing. El Paso is particularly vulnerable, and we are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.
“Without a plan for vulnerable communities or a plan for robust testing, re-opening Texas is reckless, puts El Pasoans at risk, and Governor Abbot’s decision to tie the hands of local officials who are best positioned to protect their communities is particularly irresponsible.
“In the absence of courageous leadership from Governor Abbott, I am encouraging our county and local municipalities to continue to work creatively to keep El Pasoans safe, and El Paso residents exercise caution when it comes to safeguarding their health.”
Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (Tx 16)
Escobar is the representative for Texas’ 16 Congressional district; she is also the former El Paso County Judge.