Texas mayors are pleading with Republican governor to let them make masks mandatory as coronavirus cases spike

Tobi Akingbade
Thursday 18 June 2020 15:15
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(Getty)

The mayors of nine Texas cities asked Governor Greg Abbott on Tuesday to be allowed to mandate people wear masks, after a tense back and forth.

This request comes as the number of daily coronavirus cases in the state was announced on Tuesday to have reached its highest ever number: 2,622.

Even though there has been a spike, the governor said that the main reason for his news conference was to let Texans know about the "abundant" hospital capacity for treating people with Covid-19.

So now, in response to the mayors of Arlington, Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Houston, Plano and San Antonio, Abbott's office said not a single one of them has "lifted a finger to impose penalties and enforcement mechanisms available to them."

John Wittman, a spokesman for the Republican governor:

The one time a county judge did, a business owner wound up in jail.

This is a dig at the time Shelly Luther, a salon owner, was sentence to week in jail by a Dallas judge after reopening her business while the state's stay-at-home order was in effect.

Abbott said during a news conference.

There is no reason to be alarmed. Even though there are more people hospitalised, we still remain at the lowest threat level in our hospital capacity.

The governor also said that spike could be largely attributed to 520 positive tests of inmates in Texas prisons being reported at once as well as a data error in a rural county.

Abbott also said that measures such as wearing masks, hand sanitising and social distancing are what make it possible to reopen the state's economy.

This comes as Florida experiences a second spike after recording a record number of new cases on Monday, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Some businesses in the State have shut within one week of reopening as coronavirus cases continue to spike in the region.

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