What action has the governor taken to respond to virus spikes
in the Rio Grande Valley?
The governor issued the following press release yesterday
“Governor Greg Abbott today held virtual meetings with mayors,
county judges, emergency managers, hospital executives, state legislators,
and other local officials from Cameron and Hidalgo Counties to discuss the
unified efforts to combat COVID-19 in these communities. The Governor and
local leaders discussed the ongoing needs of the Valley and the ways the
State of Texas can continue to assist these communities as they fight to
protect public health and mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Governor also
discussed the assets and resources that have been deployed to the Valley and
asked for feedback on other needs. Additionally, the Governor and local
leaders discussed the expansion of hospital capacity and staffing needs.
Governor Abbott also agreed to support Hidalgo County's efforts to contract
with a hotel to provide more beds for recovering COVID-19 patients.
‘Our ongoing collaboration with local officials in the Rio
Grande Valley is critical to effectively combating COVID-19 and keeping these
communities safe,’ said Governor Abbott. ‘The State of Texas will continue to
provide the support and resources that Valley leaders need to protect public
health and mitigate the spread of this virus. By continuing to work together,
we will overcome this challenge.’
Governor Abbott's Chief of Staff Luis Saenz and Texas Division
of Emergency Management Chief (TDEM) Nim Kidd attended these meetings in
person. Following the virtual meeting with Cameron County and Hidalgo County
leadership, Saenz continued to visit with local elected officials, and Chief
Kidd visited with local emergency management and hospital personnel to
discuss their ongoing needs.
Substantial resources have already been provided to the Rio
Grande Valley with more on the way.
On Sunday (July 19), Governor Abbott announced that
the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has deployed five U.S. Navy teams to
four locations in South and Southwest Texas to help combat the spread of
COVID-19. One U.S. Navy Acute Care Team is providing support at the Valley
Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen and four U.S. Navy Rural Rapid Response
Teams are supporting hospitals in Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Rio Grande City.
The DOD has also deployed a U.S. Army Urban Augmentation Medical Task Force to
provide medical and support professionals needed in Rio Grande Valley
Hospitals. Previously, the Governor increased hospital capacity in Cameron and
Hidalgo Counties by suspending elective surgeries.
The Texas Department of State Health Services has fulfilled
several State of Texas Assistance Requests for ventilators, hospital
staffing, nursing home staffing, testing teams, epidemiology staff, lab
staff, test collection kits and supplies, ambulance strike teams, oxygen
concentrators, oxygen cylinders, morgue trailers, assorted medical supplies
and various types of personal protective equipment (PPE). Additionally, numerous cases of Remdesivir have been sent to the
Rio Grande Valley.
TDEM has distributed PPE to Cameron and Hidalgo Counties as
well. These distributions include over 3 million surgical masks, over 1.4
million pairs of medical gloves, over 280,000 face shields, over 2.1 million
n95 masks, and more.”
Has another lawsuit been filed related to voting rights during
Yes. According to The Texas Tribune, “two civil rights groups and
two Texas voters are asking a federal judge to require substantial changes to
polling place procedures, including an across-the-board mask mandate and
expanded curbside voting.”
In a wide-ranging federal lawsuit filed Thursday in San Antonio, Mi
Familia Vota, the Texas NAACP, and the voters claim the state’s current
polling place procedures — including rules for early voting, the likelihood
of long lines, and the governor’s decision to not require voters to wear
masks — place an unconstitutional burden on voters while the virus remains in
That burden will be particularly high for Black and Latino
voters whose communities have been disproportionately affected by the virus,
the lawsuit argues.
Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus
TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.