Texas is one of several states that pushed hard to reopen quickly from the coronavirus lockdowns.
But now that Texas is among the states with the most daily positive tests for COVID-19, Republican Governor Greg Abbott has admitted that it may have been a mistake to reopen so quickly, especially when it comes to bars.
Too fast, too soon
Texas was one of the first of the states that had completely shut down to push forward with reopening. And even as Texas was seeing an increase in cases, Governor Abbott chose to continue to push forward with the reopening.
Now, after more than a week of increasing numbers and record hospitalizations, Abbott has decided to slow it down and dial it back a notch.
On Friday, Abbott issued an executive order to close down bars, dial back restaurants to 50 percent capacity, close rafting and tubing businesses, and impose requirements on gatherings of 100 or more.
This was a major move that many are saying is a sign of defeat. Others say it means the country as a whole is being far too aggressive in trying to reopen without a treatment or vaccine.
Texas saw its fair share of George Floyd protesting, but that does not seem to be where Governor Abbott is placing the blame.
Instead, Abbott seems to think the reopening of bars is what has led to the massive increase in cases in the Lone Star state.
“If I could go back and redo anything, I would slow down the reopening of bars,” he said Friday, adding that activities like drinking and socializing are what “stokes the spread of the coronavirus.”
The big problems Texas is having is the same as in other states: people are simply ignoring the rules that are in place. Bars are opening to full capacity and people are gathering in large groups, exactly the opposite of what should be happening.
“If people do not follow the rules, that could lead to even more ratcheting back of the opening of businesses in Texas,” Abbott warned.
This is really bad news for businesses that were hoping to open to full capacity for the summer season. All eyes were on states like Texas and Florida, both of which are being forced to dial it back a notch due to the rise in cases.