LULAC has declared a statewide public health emergency for Latinos in Texas, and demand Gov. Abbott to take action to save lives as COVID-19 spike amongst Hispanics.
TEXAS — COVID-19 cases have skyrocketed in Texas ever since Governor Gregg Abbott allowed businesses to start reopening a few months ago. Domingo García, the president of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) believes more needs to be done in Texas to save 11.4 million Latinos, he told The Americano.
Thursday García laid out his demands to Governor Abbott which included making it mandatory for Texans to wear a face mask. A few hours after LULAC made its demands, Gov. Abbott issued an executive order requiring Texans to wear a face mask. In a video he posted on Twitter, Abbott said face coverings would be a requirement, but fell short of calling it “mandatory.”
Across the nation, Latinos and Black people have been disproportionally affected by this pandemic, reports show. According to García, in Texas “people are dying. In Houston, all the emergency ICU beds are full now. The majority are Latino patients.”
Today LULAC declared a Statewide Public Health Emergency and sent a letter demanding Abbott to take measures to save lives, including issuing an executive order mandating everyone to wear a mask or face a fine of $500.
García explained more Latinos in the state have been infected with COVID19 disproportionality because they are essential workers. Many work in meatpacking companies, grocery stores, and in the fields picking crops. “LULAC has been raising the alarm now for months, but has seen little action from national, state, and federal governments.”
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“Texas cleaves from other states on racial lines: Both the front-line and overall workforce are more likely to be people of color, particularly Hispanic, in the 11 Texas cities than in the 100 U.S. cities,” The Texas Tribune reports.
Health officials in Dallas and Harris Counties report more than 60 percent positive COVID-19 cases are Hispanics. In Bexar County — that includes San Antonio — the positive cases are 73% Hispanic. And in Hidalgo County in South Texas more than 80% of coronavirus cases are Hispanic.
In the letter LULAC sent to Abbott on Thursday, García also demanded the Governor make it mandatory that the temperature is taken of every person going into a business, public, and government building to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
LULAC also wants the Governor to call an emergency session to discuss using “rainy day funds” to help those affected with COVID-19 pay for medical and health care and educational services. “Many Hispanic families do not have laptops or hotspots to be able to continue the education of their children.”
García wants Gov. Abbott to use state emergency funds to help small businesses in Texas survive. “We need that assistance now because a lot of businesses are facing the risk of evictions and closing down.”
LULAC is giving Governor Abbott until Monday afternoon to meet its demands. García told The Americano that if Abbott ignores their demands, his organization will start having peaceful protests across the state.
In a video press conference, García told Abbott: “If you fail to do so, LULAC, our allies, and our communities are prepared to stand up and demand that the state of Texas do something to save the lives of a lot of Jose and Marias who are right now In hospitals in ICU beds all over Texas.”
This story has been updated to add Gov. Abbott’s press conference statement.