RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (KVEO) — In an interview on CBS4 News at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott added more clarity on hospital capacity and encouraged Texas lawmakers to enforce the mask ordinance immediately.
“At the moment the Valley is Texa’s top priority” Gov. Abbott announced Wednesday. He added officials have surged more than 1,200 medical personnel into Cameron and Hidalgo County, and will double that amount over the coming week.
“Everyone who needs access to medical personnel will gain access. We will be adding additional bed space in Cameron and Hidalgo County.” Gov. Abbott said. “We will provide a space for those that have recovered but may not be ready to go home as well.”
Gov. Abbott says the COVID-19 numbers have leveled off and it is trending downward, meaning that there should be a decline in the hospitalization’s forthcoming.
Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez issued an emergency order on Monday, mandating people to shelter in their home. The emergency order also included having a curfew, limiting gatherings and travel restrictions. County officials said the order has “no enforcement mechanism.” making it difficult for local government to be able to enforce these orders.
Gov. Abbott said judge Cortez has the authority to mandate facemasks and enforce a curfew, as well as to limit the number of people in stores, restaurants and closing bars.
When asked about a statewide shutdown and if it was a possibility, Gov. Abbott said there are several metrics that the government needs to look at.
“Whether it be the positivity rates or the hospitalization rates. Looking at the hospitalization rates they are improving. In the Rio Grande Valley, it is more serious which is why our key focus is surging medical resources into the Valley. ” said Gov. Abbott.
On Tuesday, former representative Beto O’Rourke called the Texas GOP a “Death Cult.” He said, “This is one of the most callous failures of leadership I’ve ever witnessed in my life.”
Gov. Abbott’s response to these claims were that those comments were political remarks. “What I am doing right now is surging medical resources into the Rio Grande Valley in an unprecedented fashion.” he said. ” I am also working with local officials to make sure that their needs are addressed and the response of the community will lead to a reduction of COVID-19.”
Taking a step back from the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Abbott was asked about the November 2020 election. Gov. Abbott said it seemed like no one knew who won the presidency until late the night of the 2016 elections and that the polls seemed to be wrong.
“I think the same will be true this year. The way polls work is that it depends on who is asked that question. If it is not situated in a way that accounts for what the likely voting public will look like, then the poll is going to be wrong.” Gov. Abbott said.