Wednesday brought another turn. Texas had previously ordered all air travelers arriving from New York, with its increasing number of cases, to remain in quarantine for 14 days. But on Wednesday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York turned the tables and announced that travelers from Texas and eight other affected states would have to be quarantined there.
The sudden reversal has left Abbott with few good options and a host of criticism from both parties, some of them leaders of the state’s main Democratic cities, who have complained that the state reopened too quickly and tied their hands when they wanted. . impose own virus control measures.
“The governor opens up our economy and says, ‘OK, you guys go back to work,’ and we hope nothing happens?” Ruben Becerra, a Democrat and county executive in Hays County, southwest of Austin, said the total number of confirmed cases rose from 353 on June 1 to more than 2,100 on Wednesday.
Mr. Abbott is not alone in any way. Other states led by Republican governors have struggled to balance their reopens with the spread of the virus, while navigating the mask-wearing policy and problems of state versus local control.
In Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey’s handling of the pandemic, a Republican, has been heavily criticized by Democratic leaders in Arizona’s largest cities. Ducey had resisted allowing mayors to make wearing masks mandatory in their cities. But under pressure from an increase in cases, Ducey allowed mayors to implement their own measures.
Florida saw a record number of new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, but Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, gave no indication that the state was delaying its reopening, urging people to avoid crowds and closed spaces with poor ventilation.
However, Texas faces both a policy and a number challenge. If local trends persist, Houston could become the most affected city in the country, rivaling the situation in Brazil, Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, warned this week on Twitter. .