Coronavirus in Texas: Trump praises Abbott's moves to reopen Texas' economy

Workers for Code 4 Event Management spray each other with disinfectant as a safety protocol after disinfecting an office building during the coronavirus pandemic. Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

Tuesday's biggest developments:

  • Trump praises Abbott's moves to reopen Texas' economy
  • Texas reports 24,631 cases and 648 deaths

Trump praises Abbott's moves to reopen Texas' economy

[9 a.m.] In a tweet this morning, President Donald Trump praised Gov. Greg Abbott for taking steps to reopen the state’s economy, which will be done in phases and begin on Friday.

“Texas to open businesses in phases beginning Friday,” the president wrote. “Great job being done by @GregAbbott_TX.”

On Monday, Abbott announced that the state’s stay-at-home directive would expire at the end of the month. Texas is opening restaurants, movie theaters, retail stores, malls, museums and libraries at 25% capacity.

Abbott said that White House coronavirus adviser Deborah Birx said Texas’ reopening plan “was great.”

The praise from Trump today comes as some of Texas’ hardline conservatives agitate for a speedier reopening process. But in some cases, a hasty reopening has drawn rebuke from the president. Last week, Trump dinged Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for allowing bowling alleys, tattoo parlors, gyms, nail and hair salons and restaurants to reopen.

“I want them to open,” Trump said of businesses, “and I want them to open as soon as possible and I want the state to open. But I was not happy with Brian Kemp. I will tell you that.” — Alex Samuels

Texas reports 25,297 cases and 663 deaths

[8:20 a.m.] Texas reported 666 more cases of the new coronavirus Monday, an increase of about 3% over the previous day, bringing the total number of known cases to 25,297. The state typically reports fewer new cases on Mondays. Cottle County reported its first case Monday; over three quarters of the state’s 254 counties have reported at least one case. The state will give an update on new reported cases later Tuesday.

Harris County has reported the most cases, 5,729, followed by Dallas County, which has reported 3,014 cases. See maps of the latest case numbers for each county and case rates per 1,000 residents.

The state has reported 15 additional deaths, bringing the statewide total to 663 — an increase of about 2% from Sunday. Harris County reported four additional deaths, bringing its total to 93 deaths, more than any other county.

As of Monday, 1,563 patients are known to be hospitalized in Texas. That’s an increase of 21 patients from Sunday. At least 290,517 tests have been conducted. — Anna Novak