First of all, Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez, thank you for your service, hard work and no doubt long hours during this pandemic. 

Second, stating the obvious, what the county is doing with regard to COVID-19 is clearly not working. 

National news yesterday reported Texas major metro areas — including a specific mention of McAllen — are spiking; Harris County reported 88 percent ICU capacity last night. 

Ric Godinez

I would quote you Hidalgo County numbers, but this lawyer could not readily find that info after about 20 mins searching. No doubt your office has that info (and a link would be appreciated). So perhaps more transparency on the figures and info would be a decent start, revising the difficult to read charts and info on the county website. 

Hidalgo County residents are smart, and you may be surprised just how helpful we can be when pols are transparent, open and honest with ALL available information. I would remind you of what I have heard you say many times: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. 

Third, with all due respect, it’s not my job to have the answers; that is yours and all whom we have elected and paid to lead us. But here are just a few ideas off the top of my head: 

  1. call a press conference with other local leaders to point out the issues/concerns/problems with the current plan to Governor Abbott and other state leaders; 
  2. Do a caravan of cars to Austin safely and socially distance “protest”; in essence, act like a peaceful protestors and speak UP and OUT and LOUD and OFTEN, etc., etc.

I am not here just to complain. Like many other caring, taxpaying Hidalgo County residents, I offer whatever help or assistance that you and your office may need during this pandemic. All you have to do is have your office reach out and ask. You have a large, smart, hard-working volunteer “army” like me and others at your disposal. That’s a lot of talent ready to help. Use it. 

I do not envy your position or job, nor did I ask for it. But you did. Basically, telling us we know what to do and we are on our own is not a solution. Because it’s clearly not working. And if you have done much more of what is described above, I apologize, but neither your office (nor this article) has explained what that is. 

In short, no one is asking you to overrule the governor. We are asking you, however, to do what you asked us the privilege for when you ran for this office: LEAD!!!!!

Editor’s Note: The above commentary is based on a posting on Facebook by McAllen-based attorney and former Hidalgo County Democratic Party chairman Ric Godinez. The posting came in response to commentary about COVID-19 by Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez in the Rio Grande Guardian. Cortez’s commentary was first made in Weslaco at a news conference held by the four county judges of the Rio Grande Valley. Godinez’s commentary appears in The Rio Grande Guardian with the author’s permission. Godinez can be reached via email at [email protected]

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