Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Sunday touted his state's response to the coronavirus pandemic, saying that despite the pushback he got for lifting mandates in March, the state's numbers "continue to improve."
"To put all of this in context, from the very beginning many businesses remained open," the Republican said on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures." "In March, we had the entire economy open up 100% and no more masks."
President Joe Biden spoke out against lifting the restrictions, calling it "Neanderthal thinking," and Democrats accused Abbott of having issued a death warrant. However, Abbott pointed out that since March, the death rates have been going down and last week, there was one day when there was not a single death.
"Hospitalizations continue to go down even more," Abbott said. "Yesterday was the lowest positivity rate that we've had on record during the history of the entire pandemic, and so it shows that the right move was to make sure that we did open up, get things back to normal."
Abbott also on Sunday praised the Texas economy's continued strength, including a ranking by CEO Magazine deeming the state as the best place to do business.
Abbott also noted that the number of job openings in Texas is the same as the number of people seeking unemployment payments, which is part of why the state pulled out from enhanced unemployment benefits.
"From last April to this April, Texas added a million new jobs, according to the Dallas Federal Reserve," said Abbott. "Throughout the remainder of the year, we will add 800,000 jobs."
In addition, according to the latest reports, Texas' gross domestic product was "second in the United States, with a robust 7.5% quarter-over-quarter increase in gross domestic product," said Abbott.
Consumer spending is also "through the roof," in Texas, said Abbott, and the state has returned to being above where it was before the pandemic hit
"One thing that is powering the economy is that so many businesses are fleeing shutdown states," he added, pointing out that companies like Tesla and Hewlett-Packard have moved to Texas, along with many others.
"We see so many businesses coming to Texas and that is one reason why Texas was recognized by the CEOs of this country and CEO Magazine for doing business and why Texas ranked number one in the nation last year for having the most new economic development projects."
Abbott also said that last week, he pushed "to make sure that students would all be back in school, no more masks in school," as it's "time to get back to normal, both with regard to business openings and children back in schools with no more masks."
On another matter, Abbott said he intends to "immediately" sign an election security bill moving through the Texas legislature. Critics have criticized the measure for creating unnecessary voting restrictions.
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