TMA: Canceling In-Person GOP Convention Eliminates “Significant Risk”
By David Doolittle

COVID-19_Fite_Statement

The Texas Medical Association applauded Wednesday’s decision to cancel the Republican Party of Texas' in-person convention next week, in light of the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in the Houston area.

Thousands of people were expected to attend the event, scheduled for July 16-18 at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner canceled the event, citing health concerns.

“By canceling this large, indoor gathering, Mayor Turner has eliminated the significant risk of exposing would-be convention-goers, convention workers, health care workers, and the residents of Houston to additional COVID-19 infections,” TMA President Diana Fite, MD, said in a statement. “The mayor’s actions also reduce the opportunities for the virus to travel from Houston and infect people in parts of Texas that have far fewer cases.”

TMA for weeks had urged the party to cancel the in-person convention, due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the area.

TMA in February purchased $5,000 in advertising at both the Republican and Democratic party conventions as part of a project that seeks to fight vaccine hesitancy and promote public health. Funds used for the project came primarily through external grants obtained for that purpose.

TMA withdrew as an advertiser at the GOP convention last week after the party’s executive committee voted to go forward with plans to hold an in-person convention.

Dr. Fite’s statement repeated a reminder for all Texans to follow five steps that have proven effective at slowing the spread of COVID-19:

  1. Stay home when possible;
  2. Wash hands frequently;
  3. Avoid large crowds;
  4. Keep 6 feet apart; and
  5. Wear face masks or face coverings when around nonfamily members.

“We support all efforts throughout Texas to reach the highest levels of compliance with these safe practices,” Dr. Fite said. 

The Republican Party of Texas is suing the city of Houston over the convention cancellation, according to several news reports. 

 

Last Updated On

July 09, 2020

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David Doolittle

Editor

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Dave Doolittle is editor of Texas Medicine and Texas Medicine Today. Dave grew up in Austin, where he attended culinary school as well as the University of Texas. He spent years covering Central Texas for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper. He is the father of two girls, a proud Longhorn, and an avid motorsports fan.

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