Fact-checking three coronavirus claims from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

During a press conference, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sought to quell fears over COVID-19 as the state continues reopening.

June 23, 2020
Category: Fact-Checking

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Although infections and hospitalizations connected to the coronavirus are rising in Texas, state officials are continuing efforts to reopen parts of the state and allow people to return to their jobs.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott sought to quell fears over the virus during a press conference on Tuesday, pointing to the number of available hospital beds in the state and statistics suggesting that Texas is handling the virus better than other large states.

“Fewer Texans test positive for COVID-19 than residents of any large state in the United States,” he said. “We have the second-lowest death rate of the 25 most affected states in America. Only about 10% or even less of Texans who test positive for COVID-19 ever even need to go to the hospital in the first place.”

  • “Fewer Texans test positive for COVID-19 than residents of any large state in the United States.” ❌
  • “We have the second-lowest death rate of the 25 most affected states in America.” ✅
  • “Only about 10% or even less of Texans who test positive for COVID-19 ever even need to go to the hospital in the first place.” 🤔

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Alex Mahadevan is a senior multimedia reporter at MediaWise. He can be reached at amahadevan@poynter.org or on Twitter at @AlexMahadevan. Follow MediaWise on TikTok.

Comments

  • “Fewer Texans test positive for COVID-19 than residents of any large state in the United States.” False? I fact-checked this myself using population data from 2019 and COVID stats from https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/

    Texas has a population of about 29 million Americans. California has a population of just under 40 million Americans. Florida has a population of 21 million. New York has the smallest population at about 19.45 million. The State of Arizona has a slightly smaller population at 7 million but I’m adding it in since Arizona has been on the news lately accompanied by rising COVID Rates.

    Today’s Data

    New York has 295,897 active cases and a population of 19.45 million people- 1.51% of New York has tested, and is currently fighting this virus.

    Texas has 64,009 active cases and a population of 29 million. .22%

    California currently has 143,642 active cases and 11 million more people than Texas. .36%

    Florida has 97,943 active cases and 8 million fewer people compared to Texas. .46%

    Arizona has 56,534 active cases and the smallest population of the states compared above at 7.2 million people. .8%

    Texas .22% -lowest
    California .36%
    Florida .46%
    Arizona .8 % –
    New York 1.51% – highest

    Governor Cuomo recently stated that rates are dropping in New York and that his state is doing better than Texas? Hmmm. Furthermore, Texas supported reopening and is now being used as an example for other states to not follow in our lead. The media is using fear tactics and misleading data to evoke unnecessary fear in our people. Yes, we should wear masks and continue to follow social distancing guidelines, especially in densely populated areas.

    So, the statement “fewer Texans test positive for Covid-19 than any large state in the united states” according to the data, is, in fact, a true statement.

    https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2020/fact-checking-three-coronavirus-claims-from-texas-gov-greg-abbott/

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