Governor Greg Abbott garners more support for state reopening at White House meeting

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) was at the White House Thursday meeting with President Donald Trump on his state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and reopening the state.

Governor Greg Abbott meets with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on the coronavirus Thursday. (Source: Gray DC)

Abobtt largely heard what he was hoping to from the president and his team: support for his push to reopen the state’s economy in the middle of this pandemic.

“The president personally endorsed the plan in Texas,” said Abbott.

The plan including partial business reopening beginning last Friday as positive cases increase.

“We can continue the process of opening up while still containing the spread of COVID-19 if everyone continues those smart hygiene practices,” said Abbott.

The governor says health officials on the president’s task force also signed off on his plan. He concedes there will be outbreaks around the state because of reopening. But he thinks the state is prepared for a surge in coronavirus infections.

“We now have these teams that are in charge of containing those outbreaks,” said Abbott.

Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) is concerned the state is not ready to open everywhere.

“Certainly we need more testing. Certainly we need to have a system to monitor and track and trace,” said Cuellar.

Cuellar wants to see two weeks of declining cases in the state before reopening. He says while the state on a whole is not ready, some areas may be in a better position to do so. Cuellar hopes the meeting between the president and governor leads to more safety equipment and treatments for their communities to help in the normalization of economic activity.

“Let’s be very cautious on how we do this. And hopefully we can get this done in a way that we don’t see a second wave,” said Cuellar.

Close-contact services like barber shops, nail salons, tanning salons are slated to reopen Friday in Texas. Gyms are slated to reopen on May 18. These openings are subject to safe distancing guidelines.

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