“Regarding opening bars in Dallas County: I will not file to open them at this time. Below is the current guidance from the Public Health Committee and [the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department],” Jenkins tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. “We are in orange but our numbers are increasing (Badl) (sic). I will listen to everyone but will follow the science.”
Jenkins has been a proponent of strict COVID-19 restrictions since March. He was calling for a statewide shelter-in-place mandate as late as June, and forestalled the possibility of Dallas hosting the Republican National Convention.
The county judge also supported a resolution backing Democratic Judge Eric Moye, who jailed salon owner Shelley Luther for opening her business against Jenkins’ coronavirus rules.
Luther is now a candidate for Texas Senate, competing in a runoff against Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster).
Jenkins criticized Abbott on Monday after the governor suggested on social media that he would be relaxing COVID-19 rules.
“Unfortunately, we are now seeing an increase in daily new cases and hospitalizations in North Texas after the Governor increased occupancy limits in opened business,” Jenkins said.
Abbott’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has been criticized by both the left and the right.
“It’s becoming increasingly clear Texas will never open with [Abbott] as Governor,” Rep. Matt Rinaldi (R-Irving) said Wednesday on social media. “He has the same worldview as [California Gov. Gavin Newsome (D)], that Government has the ability to eliminate Covid through bureaucratic limitations on business & mask mandates, while ignoring harm.”
The Texas Bar and Nightclub Alliance also condemned Abbott’s announcement in a statement.
“We are extremely shocked by the announcement made today. When other Governors around the country, like Ron DeSantis, continue to lead and set a course for economic and social recovery for their states, today our Governor punted,” the statement read. “Texas bars and nightclubs are now the official scapegoat of the pandemic.”
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Hayden Sparks is a senior reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of the Lone Star State. He has coached competitive speech and debate and has been involved in politics since a young age. One of Hayden's favorite quotes is by Sam Houston: "Texas has yet to learn submission to any oppression, come from what source it may."