A doctor on the frontlines, battling Texas' massive summer pediatric COVID-19 surge, blames the Republican governor and state legislature for inadequately responding to the pandemic.
"Governor Abbott has failed us. A republican state legislature has failed us," said Dr. David Portugal a cardiologist in Sugarland, Texas. "These leaders should be held accountable and be asked to explain how they can justify taking actions that are killing their fellow Texans."
Portugal and other Texas members of the advocacy group the Committee to Protect Health Care called on the governor to rescind his executive order barring local governments from mandating masks in schools. They are just a few of the many healthcare workers and local governments frustrated by the state's lack of action on preventing the spread of COVID.
State officials recently admitted the bans were unenforceable by them, leaving it to local district attorneys. But the continued litigation and threats to school districts has left confusion and patchwork of policies that many doctors see as exacerbating the COVID surge.
"Hospital staff and resources are stretched to the breaking point," said Dr. Elena Jimenez-Gutierrez, an internal medicine physician in San Antonio.
The surge has led to canceled surgeries, overwhelmed staff and preventable hospitalizations and deaths.