May 18, 2020

Texas coronavirus confinement enforcement was reportedly more strict in border cities than elsewhere
While Texas GOP leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott, openly railed against local officials for fining or even jailing (which is now forbidden) residents for breaching the state's stay-at-home order amid the Coronavirus pandemic, The Dallas Morning News reports that their criticism seems to have been disproportionately directed at the state's largest counties, while the order was more strictly enforced in border cities.The Morning News analyzed data from eight counties and nine cities across the state, finding that the most populous areas mostly relied on voluntary compliance with the order, while local authorities in just three border counties issued at least 2,600 citations and made 200 arrests for violations such as not wearing a face mask, having too many people in the same car, or BREAKING curfew.The city of Laredo, situated on the border, issued almost six times as many citations as Texas' five most populous cities — Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, and Fort Worth — combined.But, the Morning News notes, it appears those incidents mostly flew under the radar. "The elephant in the room is it wasn't until a blonde-haired Caucasian woman got involved that the interests of our political leaders were piqued," Houston police Chief Art Acevedo said, referring to the criticism of the jailing of Shelley Luther, who opened her Dallas salon in defiance of the order.Two Laredo Women, Ana Isabel Castro-Garcia and Brenda Stephanie Mata, were arrested before Luther for offering cosmetic services, but it was Luther's arrest that sparked a change.Republicans pushed back against the idea that their criticism, or lack thereof, was racially motivated; Lt. Government Dan Patrick said government overreach was "egregious" wherever it occurred, while Matt Mackowiak, a Republican consultant, said the geography-based backlash was natural, since Dallas gets "a lot more attention than Laredo." Read more at The Dallas Morning News.More stories from theweek.com Florida COVID-19 data chief says she was removed from post after refusing to censor data New York's Democratic primary is back on, with both Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang on the ballot Trump's coronavirus National Guard order expires the day before many members would be eligible for key benefits
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