When confronted with a crisis, our citizens turn to their elected officials for leadership and solutions. The present Coronavirus epidemic has created a tremendous crisis of public health, the economy, and leadership. As the COVID-19 cases have spread in Texas, our citizens have looked to our national, state, and local leaders for responsive plans and policies.
A June poll by UT/Texas Politics Project revealed a decreasing level of approval of government response at all levels. Those who say the efforts are going badly increased from 29 percent to 51 percent, while those who said it was going well fell from 66 percent to 29 percent. Texans overall gave the most positive ratings to local governments. In fact, local governments were the only level receiving majority support. The full results of the poll can be reviewed at www.texaspolitics.utexas.edu.
As the effects of the epidemic expand and continue, it is natural that frustrations will deepen. Everyone is anxious for relief. Lack of continuity in planning and communication at the state and national level have contributed to the concerns. Hopefully, recognition of the importance of local input and local decision-making will return at all levels.
Until a vaccine is available, social distancing, facial coverings, testing, and tracing will remain the best methods of control. Empowering local leaders and public health authorities will restore confidence in our citizens and implement the appropriate solutions for each area of the state. County leaders are ready to do their part.