July 3, 2020
Statement by Texas Medical Association (TMA) President Diana L. Fite, MD, regarding the Texas Republican Party’s decision to hold an in-person convention.
“TMA is pleased that the Republican Party of Texas will comply with Governor Abbott’s directive and require face masks at its state convention later this month in Houston. While face masks certainly will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in and around the convention, masks alone are not enough. With or without masks, an indoor gathering of thousands of people from all around the state in a city with tens of thousands of active COVID-19 cases poses a significant health risk to conventiongoers, convention workers, health care workers, and the residents of Houston. We are concerned not only for the City of Houston but also for the communities to which the delegates will return, giving the virus easy transportation to parts of Texas that have far fewer cases.
“TMA has chosen to withdraw as an advertiser from the convention. Thanks to the party, we have already obtained far, far more than $5,000 worth of exposure for our COVID-19 safety message. Since we are no longer advertising at the event, we urge the party to use our $5,000 to buy masks for people who come to the convention without one.
“Five actions have proven effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19. The TMA strongly believes that Texans should follow these proven guidelines: stay home when possible, wash hands frequently, avoid large crowds, keep 6 feet apart, and wear face masks or face coverings when around non-family members. We support all efforts throughout Texas to reach the highest levels of compliance with these safe practices.”
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.
Brent Annear (512) 370-1381; cell: (512) 656-7320
Marcus Cooper (512) 370-1382; cell: (512) 650-5336