TexPIRG statement on Gov. Abbott’s reopening announcement

Media Contacts
Matt Wellington

Former Director, Public Health Campaigns, PIRG


AUSTIN — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he is slowing the reopening of non-essential businesses because the positivity rate of COVID-19 infection across the state is still too high. 

In response, TexPIRG Director Bay Scoggin released the following statement:

“For almost a month now, we’ve been calling on Governor Abbott to shut down, start over, and do it right. Fifty health professionals from Texas have joined our call, along with more than 1,000 nationwide. We’re pleased to see the governor at least acknowledge that we’re not where we should be. But he is wearing rose-colored glasses if he thinks the virus will fade away deep in the heart of Texas without taking much bolder steps to contain it. 

“It may be a hardship for all of us to stay home again, but it’s the only way we can get the virus under control so that we can fully reopen our state safely.

“The governor noted that his goal is to get the state’s positivity rate below 10 percent before reopening further. That’s not good enough. It’s twice the level that the World Health Organization recommends, and states and countries that have successfully contained the virus pushed the positivity rate down to 2 percent before reopening. Right now, Texas has a positivity rate of just under 25 percent.

“Governor Abbott needs to face reality and make the hard calls now to save lives. Leaders are expected to make decisions to protect their constituents, even when they know they’ll get some blowback. In this case, that means shutting down, starting over, and doing it right.“