GOV ABBOTT VISITS TRUMP — President Donald Trump praised another Republican governor for rolling back state coronavirus restrictions despite failing to meet the administration's recommended benchmarks as he welcomed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to the White House on Thursday.
“Texas is opening up and a lot of places are opening up. And we want to do it, and I'm not sure that we even have a choice. I think we have to do it. You know, this country can't stay closed and locked down for years.”
Speaking with reporters in the Oval Office, Abbott touted the state's ability to reopen while still responding to flare-ups in certain places. He also promoted the action he took hours earlier that prevents Texas business owners from being jailed for violating his executive orders by reopening too soon.
"They are suddenly subject to arrest, that is wrong, and that is why I issued another executive order today saying that in the state of Texas, no one can be put behind bars because they're not following an executive order."
That decision was prompted by the case of Shelley Luther, a Dallas hair salon owner who was jailed earlier this week for illegally reopening her business. She was freed as Abbott was at the White House.
Abbott’s visit comes as he faces mounting pressure back home to reboot the Texas economy at a faster pace, even as COVID-19 cases in his state are on the rise. Texas Restaurants and retailers in have been allowed to resume limited service and hair salons and barber shops will be allowed to reopen Friday.