March 13, 2020
(L to R): DSHS Commissioner and TMA physician leader John Hellerstedt, MD,
TMA President David C. Fleeger, MD, and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President David C. Fleeger, MD, about Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s state of emergency declaration regarding COVID-19.
“The physicians of the Texas Medical Association stand by Governor Abbott in his emergency declaration to benefit our state. This move is warranted and beneficial for Texas.
“Please understand, though, that today’s medical emergency in our state is the same as it was yesterday, and physicians’ prescription remains the same: calm vigilance.
“Texas physicians want to remind our patients to remain calm and practice smart public health precautions. Your doctors are here to help Texans cross as safely as possible through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Here’s what you need to remember to protect yourself: Wash your hands thoroughly and often; cough into your elbow or a tissue then throw it away; avoid touching your face; and by all means, stay home if you are sick. If you have a fever and cough, call your doctor’s office for instructions; do not automatically go to your doctor’s office or to an emergency department.
“If you’re mildly ill, you don’t need to go to the emergency room, or even your doctor’s office, because there is no treatment. So if you’re reasonably healthy, you can take care of a mild illness yourself, as you would the flu.
“However, if you are in a risk group including older people or those with underlying health issues, call your doctor’s office for advice about what to do. And of course anyone experiencing severe emergency symptoms like shortness of breath should seek medical care – but call first if at all possible.
“TMA and Texas physicians stand beside Governor Abbott, Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner of Health John Hellerstedt, MD, and other Texas leaders, working to keep our patients healthy and safe.
“Be calm, be cautious, and take care of each other.”
TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 53,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 110 component county medical societies around the state. TMA’s key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.
Contact: Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320
Marcus Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336