“We’re opening Texas as fast as possible while also containing the spread of COVID-19,” Abbott said in a Wednesday night interview with KETK-TV.
Health experts say that even small steps toward reopening businesses will increase the number of people who become sick from the virus.
The governor has allowed the reopening of a number of businesses across industries over the last two weeks, including restaurants, retailers and hair salons. Originally Abbott said bars would get the go-ahead to reopen by mid-May. He has stopped short of putting a date on their reopening, saying he needs more information from experts to figure out how to reopen them safely.
“Part of what we seek to do this coming Monday is seek to get the advice of our four-doctor medical team about safe ways that current businesses may be allowed to open up even further and safe ways that certain businesses that are not open may be allowed to open,” Abbott said in an interview Wednesday evening with WOAI-TV. “So we are still providing information to our medical team, getting advice back from our medical team, and we will be making these decisions here in the coming days."
Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen also went on the air to defend the governor’s decision to reopen more businesses.
“If Texans follow the health guidelines of washing their hands, social distancing, wearing a face covering when they go out in public, then we can be successful in reopening our economy, getting Texans back to work,” Bonnen said on KETK. — Stacy Fernández and Patrick Svitek