AUSTIN, TEXAS — Today, over 100 health care providers throughout Texas are sending a letter to the Texas House of Representatives urging them to reject any legislation restricting the ability of local elected officials to implement local public health interventions, including any attempt to limit masking requirements at Texas schools or workplaces. Bills include HB 141, HB 127, SB 14, HB 10, and other similar legislation preempting local leaders from taking action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
In this letter, medical experts noted that “as healthcare providers, we know that no two patients are alike and that, to truly serve a patient, we must be able to meet their individual needs. Texans expect the same science-based thinking from their state leaders. Each community is different, each facing unique challenges, and local officials must be able to take the actions necessary to keep their constituents safe.”
Bich-May Nguyen, MD, MPH, FAAFP with Doctors for America in Houston:
“I signed this open letter because our area is experiencing the highest number of hospitalizations since the pandemic started. If state leadership had pushed vaccinations more aggressively after observing how the delta variant raged through India, we wouldn’t be at this point now. If the state leadership followed public health advice to promote vaccinations, masking, ventilation, and avoid crowding rather than what is politically convenient, we could save more lives.”
John R. Corker, MD, FACEP, Emergency Physician in Dallas:
“I signed on to this letter because, every day, I toil in a preventable disaster zone. Children, young adults and vulnerable elderly, all struggling to breathe. No room or resources to help others suffering from otherwise routinely treatable ailments. This virus does not discriminate, and not all neighborhoods are suffering in the same ways. We must allow our local communities to make decisions in the best interest of the health and well-being of their citizens. Our elected officials should be empowering, not obstructing, these communities with the freedom and resources they need to make these nuanced decisions.”
Tell the legislature to let our local elected officials lead here.