June 20, 2020

Trump Touts Historic Pandemic Leadership at Rally
with Poor Turnout as Coronavirus Scorches Texas

By Mike Hailey
Capitol Inside Editor

Texas Hot Spots
Daily Records in Past Week
New Cases Increase in Past Week
Cases Per 100,000 Population
1 Anderson 1 887% 1735
2 Brewster 1 500% 259
3 Presidio 3 450% 158
4 Bailey 3 144% 1181
5 Hays 3 130% 723
6 Zapata 1 121% 218
7 Caldwell 1 107% 456
8 Brazoria 4 105% 460
9 Starr 3 99% 352
10 Frio 1 86% 601
11 Val Verde 1 86% 108
12 Hidalgo 4 61% 181
13 S. Augustine 2 56% 1045
14 Comal 2 59% 170
15 Brazos 2 61% 522
16 Midland 2 60% 195
17 Bexar 3 49% 304
18 Lubbock 4 49% 396
19 Nueces 2 44% 152
20 Williamson 3 41% 205
21 Galveston 3 41% 490
22 Bell 3 35% 203
23 Cameron 6 35% 343
24 Ector 2 32% 178
25 Collin 2 30% 196
26 Smith 2 30% 135
27 Parmer 0 29% 1571
28 Maverick 1 26% 352
29 Travis 2 23% 400
30 Harris 1 22% 420
31 Denton 2 21% 220
32 Webb 2 21% 291
33 Montgomery 2 19% 251
34 Dallas 3 18% 608
35 Fort Bend 3 22% 346
36 Bastrop 2 17% 398
37 Tarrant 0 17% 400
38 Ellis 1 12% 273
39 El Paso 1 11% 486
40 Jefferson 1 10% 525
41 Deaf Smith 0 10% 1252

President Donald Trump claimed at a poorly-attended rally in Tulsa on Saturday night that he'd saved hundreds of thousands of life with a "phenomenal job" that he's done with his handling of the coronavirus crisis as Texas sizzled to the south with a 90 percent increase in new cases in the past week.

Speaking to conservative loyalists at the indoor event where there was no sign of social distancing and a minimal number of masks, Trump confirmed that he'd demanded a decrease in diagnostic testing as the best way to keep the official count of cases down.

But the strategy that revolved on making it appear that COVID-19 was no longer a threat didn't appear to be working in Texas where the virus set a record for the fourth time in the past five days with 4,430 new infections reported here between Friday and Saturday afternoon. The record for hospitalizations in a 24-hour period fell for the ninth day in a row with 3,247 coronavirus patients admitted to facilities across Texas. Texas moved up to 43rd in testing but slumped to 45th in positivity - two of the categories that Abbott said would be critical for the success of an early reopening.

The campaign rally in Oklahoma where the virus has been spiking gave GOP leaders in Texas a glimpse of what they can probably expect less than four weeks from now when the state Republican convention is held in Houston where the new infection tally skyrocketed on Saturday with 1,187 positive tests in Harris County alone,

The packed house that the president had all but guaranteed at the Bank of Oklahoma Center failed to come anywhere near close to materializing in a development that the Trump campaign blamed on a relatively small number of peaceful protesters who the president described as "some very people doing some very bad things."

Trump also attributed the highly-disappointing turnout at the arena that seats at least 19,000 people to media scare tactics based on reports this afternoon on a half-dozen of campaign aides who'd helped set the event up testing positive for the coronavirus.

The virus shattered the record in Tulsa County for the fourth day in a row with 136 cases reported today as officials there braced for a potentially-monstrous spike there next week as a direct product of the Trump event.

The Trump campaign assessment for the high number of empty seats at BOK doesn't bode well for the Texas Republicans who are planning to gather seven hours to the south for their biennial gathering in the state's largest city where the number of people who show up to protest against social injustice could be astronomically higher than it was in Tulsa today.

Governor Greg Abbott hasn't given any indications about the possible cancellation of the state GOP convention in the Bayou City where the virus could be raging more than is now in July in light of some astounding tomfoolery on mask orders that local leaders would had in place for the entire last month if he hadn't them to believe that they'd been prohibited.

The coronavirus has surged in concert with the governor's fast-track reopening that Abbott has suggested he has no plans to slow despite the record-breaking spikes that have turned most of the major and mid-size cities here into hot spots in the past two weeks.

The daily case count in Texas today was 26 percent higher than it had been two days ago when the state recorded 3,516 new infections. The Saturday tally in Harris County represented a frightening increase of 68 percent compared to the previous record that was set there in early April.

Cameron County at the state's southern tip reported a record number of new coronavirus cases today for the 10th time in 11 days. The Department of State Health Services on Saturday recorded a record-shattering spike in Travis County that local officials had revealed the previous day.

Dallas, El Paso, Brazoria and Galveston counties all had their second highest counts of new infections on Saturday as the virus surged with a sweeping intensity in every major population center in Texas.

Trump spent more time at the pep rally talking about the source of the disease that he referred to several times as the Chinese virus than the impact it's had on the United States that's been paralyzed by the pandemic though most of 2020. Trump acknowledged that the country had appeared to be in "big trouble" in the early stages of the health crisis before he called Russia and Saudi Arabia in a move that he said reaffirmed the U.S. status as the world energy super power.

The president made it clear at the rally that he views the people who've been protesting across America as the enemy - characterizing them as left-wing anarchists and mobsters who would have no chance in a street fight with his supporters.

But the president concentrated on himself first and foremost in the speech that went on for almost two hours in an arena where Tulsa's minor league hockey team has larger and louder crowds. Trump didn't beat around the bush - declaring that his administration has accomplished more in three and a half years than any other White House in history.

Trump mocked and belittled Democrat Joe Biden frequently at the rally where the president said that he was more handsome than the rival party's presumed nominee and had better hair as well. Trump devoted an amazingly long stretch of time attempting to assure his fans that he's in perfect health despite video footage that sparked speculation to the contrary after a speech that he delivered last weekend at the West Point Academy.

Trump provided a detailed narrative on why it had appeared that he needed help walking down a ramp from the stage at the graduation ceremony. Trump said that he'd been compelled to salute no less than 600 times as a function of military protocol while sitting for hours on the stage while others spoke. Trump explained that the ramp had been as slick as an ice-skating rink and that he'd ended up running down the stretch in a sudden shift of gears that had been edited out of television fake news accounts.

Trump bragged about his negotiating skills that he said were on display when he got Boeing to lower the price on a new Air Force One to $4 billion after trying to sell it to him more than $5 billion. Trump said he'd decided that the nation needed a new presidential aircraft after he noticed that the leaders of much smaller and poorer countries were flying in fancier jets than the two current versions of Air Force One that have been used for the past 30 years.

 

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