- Texas has now reported more coronavirus cases than any other state in the country.
- Texas has seen nearly 974,000 coronavirus infections and approximately 18,730 deaths since the pandemic began.
- With winter approaching, experts like Dr. Fauci are warning that a new spike in infections and deaths is inevitable.
Over the weekend, Texas had the unfortunate honor of becoming the state with the most coronavirus cases in the country. Since the pandemic began sweeping across the country in early March, Texas has recorded nearly 974,000 coronavirus cases. Following closely behind are California and Florida which have seen 949,000 and 816,000 COVID-19 cases, respectively.
All told, Texas coming up in the number one spot isn’t all that surprising given that it’s the second most populous state in the country with 29 million people. Still, the fact that Texas has seen more coronavirus cases than California — which has a population of 40 million — illustrates the degree to which Texas’ response to the coronavirus fell short.
During the first few months of the pandemic, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott made a series of curious and, at times, conflicting decisions. In short, messaging from the state’s top officials was often muddled and unclear.
Back in March, the Texas Tribune highlighted Abbott’s coronavirus approach:
Nearly 30 states have mandated temporary school closures, for example, with some orders applying even to private institutions. In Texas, though, only half of school districts have ordered students to stay home after spring break.
That’s because Gov. Greg Abbott has clung so far to a mostly decentralized approach, giving cities, counties, school districts and universities the discretion to respond to the virus however they see fit. The result has been a patchwork of local policies that differ from county to county, with leaders setting various limits on public gatherings and other putting in place other regulations meant to encourage “social distancing.”
Suffice it to say, coronavirus safety measures like stay-at-home orders and mask-wearing mandates are only effective when followed by everyone.
Addressing critiques to the aforementioned strategy, an Abbott spokesperson at the time commented:
Texas is so diverse that what is right in Houston and Harris County and Dallas and San Antonio may not be the best approach in Amarillo. These cities and counties are following the proper protocol and guidance that they are receiving from their local health departments.
You might also recall that Abbott, back in July, ignored the pleas of officials in cities like Houston and Austin for more stringent coronavirus restrictions. And when the number of new coronavirus cases topped 10,000 per day in July, Abbott was reluctant to implement a stay-at-home order.
Unfortunately, Texas, like most other parts of the country, is in the midst of a coronavirus resurgence. Over the past two weeks alone, the number of coronavirus cases in the state jumped by 32%. Alongside that, the number of hospitalizations and deaths has increased by 33% and 18%, respectively.