Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (Texas) is not impressed with his state’s governor’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
After reaching 36,738 new daily coronavirus cases on April 24, Texas began to drop slightly to the twenty-thousands. The state then began to climb again in mid-June in daily cases reported, reaching a record for the state of 59,453 new cases reported on July 8.
Texas is among several other states such as Florida, Arizona, Louisiana, South Carolina, among others, who have seen a surge in daily coronavirus cases. At least 19 states have rolled back on their reopenings. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott placed a temporary pause on new reopenings on June 25 and masks are mandatory in most counties.
“As we experience an increase in both positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, we are focused on strategies that slow the spread of this virus while also allowing Texans to continue earning a paycheck to support their families,” Abbott said in a statement. “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses.”
However, O’Rourke does not appear impressed with the Texas governor, expressing his thoughts on MSNBC Wednesday about the conversation surrounding reopening schools in the fall and Abbott’s handling of the outbreak.
“We should be outraged and angered and demanding more from our leaders. And that’s why I took the step within the last couple of days of asking Governor Abbott to resign,” he said.
O’Rourke added, “He’s clearly not up to this moment.”
He said Abbott does not “have the well-being and the safety of our families and our kids in mind.”
O’Rourke, who was previously running in the 2020 Democratic primary race, then claimed Abbott is responsible for the roughly 2,900 deaths in the state due to the virus “because of his incompetence.”
“This was preventable, but when he denied the science, the truth, the facts, the CDC guidelines … it was totally predictable, and yet, he has still failed to reverse course,” he said.
Watch O’Rourke’s interview below:
During the interview, O’Rourke also pivoted to gun violence in the U.S., saying, “These are the same people who want us to accept that more people, including more children, will die of gun violence this year in America than in any other developed country, bar none.”
“In some ways, they’ve almost won that fight,” O’Rourke added. “If you look at the gun laws that are on the books — and the gun laws that should be on the books and aren’t in this country — in some ways we have tacitly accepted this historic, tragic level of gun violence in America that continues to rise.”
He continued, “It’s that same kind of death cult mentality that asks us to accept…one quarter, 25 percent, of the world’s COVID deaths — though we represent only 4 percent of the globe’s population.”