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Joaquin Castro Criticizes Trump, Abbott On Pandemic Response

In an appearance on CNN’s Newsroom with Ana Cabrera, Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX) expressed his frustration Sunday with the surge in coronavirus cases in Texas, saying that he felt that people had made major sacrifices to fight the pandemic, but that leaders like President Donald Trump and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) had “squandered people’s sacrifices.”

Cabrera played a video clip of Vice President Mike Pence visiting a church in Dallas, Texas earlier Sunday, in which Pence wore a mask but the church choir was shown singing very close together, not wearing masks.

“How concerned are you,” Cabrera asked Castro, to see images like this when coronavirus cases are surging in Texas?

Castro said it was “alarming,” and added that from the beginning of the pandemic, Abbott had “basically followed the see no evil, hear no evil, do as little testing as possible philosophy of Donald Trump.”

Castro added that text alerts were going out in multiple cities in Texas, because hospitalizations were “skyrocketing” and ICUs were filling up, expressing concern that hospitals could be overcrowded if these trends continued another week or two.

Cabrera mentioned that Abbott had said that he regretted reopening the bars so quickly, and asked Castro if Abbott deserved credit for taking responsibility and admitting he made a mistake.

Castro replied that he was “glad” Abbott was able to say that but said that he believed that Abbott had still put “politics over science,” and “bowed” to “folks on the right who didn’t want him to follow the science, who didn’t want a mask police statewide so he buckled and gave into that rather than doing what he should have done.”

The congressman urged Texans to “step up and be good fellow residents, fellow Texans,” by taking recommended steps to reduce transmission of the coronavirus.

“Wearing a mask shouldn’t be something that’s either liberal or conservative,” said Castro. “It’s just way for all of us to combat this virus, and also the longer we don’t do things like wear a mask, the longer this virus is going to continue.”

“People of Texas and other places, most of them made sacrifices, stayed at home,” he continued. “A lot of people lost their job. People got sick. Some people died. But the leaders like Donald Trump and Greg Abbott, unfortunately, squandered people’s sacrifices. They didn’t do their part. So our leaders have to do their part, and fellow Texans also have to be responsible.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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