I pray you and your family are well. It’s hard to believe it has been 4 weeks since the March 3rd primary. It seems so long ago. So much has happened since everything began shutting down on March 11. A friend recently said, “It’s been a long year, this month.”
Governor Abbott issued several additional Executive Orders yesterday that will help reduce the spread of COVID-19. I talked with him over the weekend about these issues and gave him my total support.
- Governor Abbott has now restricted road travel from any area of Louisiana into Texas.
- Governor Abbott is requiring anyone coming into Texas via plane from the cities of Miami, Atlanta, Detroit and Chicago and the states of California and Washington to enter mandatory 14 day quarantine, which will also be enforced by DPS.
- Governor Abbott is prohibiting the release of anyone in custody who has a history of violence or the threat of violence. He did this in reaction to contemplated release of individuals from jails and prisons because of COVID-19.
These actions, along with many other steps Governor Abbott and the state have taken, will continue to help protect Texans in our fight against the virus:
Texas has been preparing for this fight from the beginning. On February 27th the Governor and I met with our state team at the SOC (State Operations Center) in Austin. We have been preparing for the virus to hit Texas about as early as anyone. In early March, as the first cases started popping up around the country, I directed that all Senate hearings be rescheduled. Some questioned my move at that time, but it was the right thing to do.
The Texas response, taking a serious, but balanced approach early-on, appears to be containing the spread of COVID-19 at this point to among the lowest levels among the most populous states in the country, but we are a long way from having the virus behind us in America and in Texas. We must continue to be vigilant as a state and as individuals in how we fight this virus. Please continue to follow the lead of the President, the CDC and state officials in staying indoors except for essential travel, avoid groups bigger than 10, and wash your hands regularly. Our seniors especially need to heed these warnings. While the virus has taken the lives of some younger people, seniors, particularly those with health issues, are in the most danger.
It is my hope that once the President gives us the green light to begin to open businesses and allow people to go back to work, we can begin to rebuild our nation and restore our lives to some sense of normalcy. Seniors may still need to stay close to home for a longer period, but as I said on Tucker Carlson on Monday, (see below) we cannot close down our nation for months and months. Shutting down our country for a long period of time could collapse our economy and destroy our country for generations to come.
This is America. We can do two things at once — address the health care crisis and get people back to their jobs without sacrificing our country.
We can provide the care needed for seniors and others who are in the hospital, and at the same time put people back to work when the President lifts his restrictions.
In case you missed my appearance on Tucker Carlson’s show, you can watch it here. The interview received a huge positive response, especially from Republicans, owners of both small and large businesses and my fellow seniors. I spoke from my heart and said what I felt needed to be said. The segment got so much response on Fox that Tucker did a follow-up segment the next night.
However, the response I received in the left-wing media, amplified by their acolytes on Twitter, was ugly and filled with lies. If you haven’t read this blog post about how this story was distorted by the media, I recommend it. The left and the media are very uncomfortable with the way the country is pulling together to fight the virus. They don’t like to see the private sector stepping-up in this crisis. They want government to control everyone and everything. They are even more vicious and angry than usual.
They like the messages of hate and blame better than the messages of unity that President Trump, Governor Abbott and I are pushing forward.
Texans are strong and resilient. I’m still working 12 to 15-hour days, mostly from home like a lot of folks. Like many of you, I spend a lot of my time in prayer — beginning and ending every day in prayer. I pray for supernatural words, wisdom, favor and courage every day. I pray for my family and all Texans. We must remember that God is always with us. If you don’t know the Lord, now’s a good time to spend some time with the New Testament. Give God a chance. I think the book of Matthew is a good place to start.
As we spend time social distancing at home as a nation, perhaps we should reflect on who we are as a nation – and what we aspire to be. We have a history of meeting challenges head-on — vanquishing foes together. I believe Texas and all of America will emerge better and stronger.
State of Texas: COVID-19 Updates, Information & Resources
There is a lot going on in Texas – here are some additional steps the state has taken in the last few days: Governor Abbott issued an executive order increasing hospital capacity in Texas, and another, which mandates a 14-day quarantine for people traveling to Texas as their final destination through an airport from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or New Orleans.
The Governor also established a Supply Chain Strike Force, which has already secured more than $83 million of purchase orders for essential supplies – particularly Personal Protective Equipment (PPE’s). The State of Texas will soon be receiving more than one million masks per week.
- Texas has received a $16.2 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living to help communities provide meals for older adults.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration has included Texas in its Economic Injury Disaster Declaration and granted access to its Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). EIDL will provide long-term, low-interest loans to qualifying businesses across the state. You can apply for assistance here.
- A daily count of COVID-19 cases in Texas can be found on the Texas Department of State Health Services’ website. Their count is updated daily at noon. Click here to view the interactive case map.
- If you encounter any type of fraud or price gouging, you can contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at (866) 720-5721 or by email at email@example.com. You can also contact the Texas Attorney General’s Office here.
- Comptroller Hegar has established a hotline for businesses who have questions about their upcoming sales tax payments. For more information, you can visit their website or phone their hotline at (800) 252-8880.
- Texas needs supplies, services and equipment, and medical volunteers. If you are able to assist, here’s the volunteer and donation form. Please see the graphic below for more information.
For more information and ongoing updates regarding COVID-19, you can visit:
- Texas Department of State Health Services
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Texas Education Agency
- Texas Department of Transportation
I appreciate your continued support. May God bless you and your family in this difficult time and may he continue to bless the greatest state of all—Texas.
Lieutenant Governor of Texas