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While Dealing With His Own COVID-19 Diagnosis, Governor Abbott and Texas Republicans Face Intervention of Federal Government to Keep Kids Safe

AUSTIN, Texas — Today, Texas is averaging more than 15,000 COVID-19 cases a day, according to data from The New York Times. This number is up 44% over the past two weeks with hospitalizations up 65% and continuing to rise. Fourteen Texas students with disabilities are also suing Gov. Abbott in an effort to protect themselves from the highly contagious Delta variant. The largest school districts in Texas have not yet returned back to school, and health officials are making headlines for continuing to press the governor to stop impeding their efforts to protect students, teachers, faculty and communities. 

Abbott and Texas Republicans have doubled down on their commitment to blocking safety measures in schools and communities, with the Texas Attorney General’s office turning to Twitter yesterday to solicit additional opportunities for lawsuits.

 

Per Paxton’s own list, at least 65 ISDs or counties are refusing to comply at present. And while Texas Republicans continue to waste precious time and money defending this dangerous executive order, Democrats are taking action to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

It was announced today that President Biden is directing the Secretary of Education to use “​​all of his oversight authorities and legal action, if appropriate, against governors trying to block and intimidate local school officials.”

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement: 

“Despite Governor Abbott’s best attempts to win over his extremist right-wing primary voters, the only victor in Texas today is COVID-19. Thanks to Texas Republicans, this virus continues to spread at rapid rates through our state and through our school systems.

“Gov. Abbott goes after school districts harder than he does COVID-19. Our Governor, and the Texas Republicans who are wasting taxpayer dollars to defend him, should be ashamed. Texas deserves better than a governor who continually places politics above public health, public education, and the protection of Texas citizens.

“Fortunately, President Biden and our federal government will not stand by and allow this blatant exploitation of our kids. We are grateful for the President’s announcement yesterday regarding his plan to use the full force of his administration to stop the ban on mask mandates in classrooms.

We continue our call for the Governor to rescind his executive order that bans local authorities from preventing the spread of COVID-19. Texas Democrats stand with all of the brave leaders across our state who have had to take matters into their own hands and continue to face legal battles for the right to save our children.”

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