Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott
If the virus presented a leadership test, Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott is failing in spades, according to The Texas Tribune.
The state’s metrics have been getting worse for weeks as Abbott resisted taking steps and sent mixed messages on how to deal with the virus.
As a result more than 3,000 Texans have died and hospitals are rapidly reaching capacity and beginning to get overwhelmed.
Abbott got behind the eight ball after he followed the administration’s advice to open the state early, hoping to lift the economy.
But the virus’s spread has largely negated any gain. Unemployment remains in double digits.
Even by the metrics Abbott has said he is focused on — the percentage of COVID-19 patients who require hospitalization, and the share of tests coming back positive — Texas is headed in an alarming direction, according to the newspaper.
Like many southern, rural states, Texas was hit late by the virus. Now it’s considered a national hotspot.
When cases started climbing in June, Abbott shut down bars and rolled back restaurant capacity and announced a statewide mask mandate. But he immediately began backsliding after that.
In November, hospitalizations for COVID-19 was on the upswing , and the positivity rate exceeded 10 percent.
The state’s posture toward the pandemic is frequently compared to Florida’s, where lax action early on has triggered a surge cases.