WASHINGTON D.C. (Nexstar) — Texas democratic lawmakers say they are disappointed in how the state has responded to the pandemic.
Now, they are demanding that Governor Greg Abbott do more to contain the virus, especially in hard hit Latino and African-American communities across the state.
“People are dying, and we can’t get action,” said Democratic U.S. Representative for Texas Sheila Jackson Lee.
She says her constituents are dying at an alarming rate. She stood outside the nation’s capitol Wednesday with her Texas colleagues begging Abbott to shut the state down to contain the virus.
“If not, more people will die,” Lee said.
Texas Democratic Congressman Joaquin Castro says right now, local leaders’ hands are tied, but he says Abbott has the authority to change that.
“If he is not going to muster the political courage and the political will to do what is necessary to protect Texans, then he should allow the people of Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, the Valley and everywhere else in Texas, the leaders in those cities and counties, to actually step up and issue local orders,” Castro said.
He criticized Abbott for not doing enough to help the Latino and African-American communities in Texas, who are disproportionately affected by the virus, but other congressmen in the state say they’ve had a different experience.
“A number of the hospitals in my district are already at full capacity,” said Republican U.S. Representative for Texas Will Hurd.
Hurd, whose district is 71% Latino, says the governor and his team have been more than helpful.
“They have been unbelievably responsive to local needs, and again that’s from sending nurses to a specific hospital to helping to make sure we can transfer patients,” he said.
But Hurd says in order to beat the virus, all levels of government — from the nation’s Capitol down to the counties — need to set aside politics and work together.