AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has written to President Trump to say the state and its counties and cities cannot cope with the coronavirus.
In a three-page letter sent Monday, Abbott said the State of Texas needs federal help in order to avert a “large disaster.”
And he requested direct federal assistance for all 254 Texas counties.
“Pursuant to the provisions of Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act… I have determined that the current coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) incident is of such severity and magnitude that effective response is beyond the capabilities of the state and affected local governments, and that supplemental federal assistance is necessary to save lives, to protect property, public health, and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a large disaster,” Abbott wrote.
“I, therefore, respectfully request a major disaster declaration for the State of Texas as a result of COVID-19 under the Stafford Act and its implementing regulations, and I specifically request Individual Assistance Crisis Counseling and Public Assistance Category B (Emergency Protective Measures) including Direct Federal Assistance for all 254 counties in Texas.”
A copy of the letter is posted at the end of this story.
Meanwhile, Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño, Jr., has ordered a county-wide shelter in place to “protect the significant threats” of COVID-19 to the life, health, and property of residents in his county.
The order states that all individuals currently living within Cameron County shall “shelter at their place of residence for a period of 14 days.” Exemptions to the order included healthcare, infrastructure, and government operations. Those operating an essential business are also exempt.
Treviño said he was issuing the order “out of an abundance of caution” and for the “protection and safety of all during this difficult time.”
In Hidalgo County, the commissioners court has placed a curfew on residents from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Those operating essential services, such as governmental agencies, are exempt.
“This is a time in our lives where we must learn to let go of self interests,” said Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez, in a video he released to announce the curfew. “We are facing a world crisis and we must make certain sacrifices.”
Abbott letter to Trump
Here is Gov. Abbott’s three-page letter to President Trump: