We encourage the committee to consider local communities including local health authorities, school districts, mayors and city councils, and county government as partners in addressing the emergency.
The Governor should play the largest role in creating guidelines, assessing threats, coordinating with the federal government, and setting the appropriate tone focused on the most vulnerable but in a state as large as Texas, it is naïve to think a one-size solution or mandate will work.
Texans need leadership and help from the state, not finger-pointing and attacks on local leaders and government, especially in our Latino and Black communities across the state that bore the brunt of COVID and the 2021 February Winter storm and shutdown.
Case in point: In November of 2020, El Paso was so overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases that it surpassed Bexar, Travis and Tarrant counties in number of cases — counties with far greater populations. El Paso was forced to draft inmates to transport bodies to the morgue.
Read the full testimony here.