Houston councilman blasts mayor over coronavirus emergency

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Thursday, March 12, 2020
Houston councilman opposes coronavirus declaration
This is how Houston Councilman Greg Travis vocalized his opposition to the emergency declaration that shut down RodeoHouston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After the city of Houston's emergency declaration was announced, and the closure of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was made real Wednesday, at least one member of the city council was "vehemently opposed" to the decision, doubting the severity of the situation as similar to "the Zombie Apocalypse."

Council Member Greg Travis sent an email to his District G constituents, stating further that he and other colleagues were "absolutely blindsided" by the decision.

SEE MORE: Houston and Harris Co. declare emergency over coronavirus

"This decision was made behind closed doors with no consultation from City Council," Travis said.

While Mayor Sylvester Turner based the city-wide declaration on a presumptive positive coronavirus case, Travis claimed the mayor made the decision out of fear.

"Today's decision unfortunately only serves to perpetuate the artificial panic being proliferated by the media and deals a huge blow to the Houston economy. Essentially, this action acts as gasoline on the fire of hysteria. After all, this is not the Zombie Apocalypse," Travis added.

While he acknowledged the gravity of the deadly illness, he was defiant.

"I trust that the residents of this city are wise enough to understand the risks associated with COVID-19 and determine for themselves whether or not public activity is a worthwhile gamble. In other words, we are all big boys and girls, and are capable of making these kinds of decisions for ourselves and for our family. We do not need a nanny state," Travis said.

SEE MORE: RodeoHouston shutting down early amid coronavirus concerns

He concluded, "The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is more than an annual event - it is an important part of our city's identity and our city's history. With the Mayor signing today's EHD, not only will we be altering that history for the wrong reasons, but we will undeniably be altering the future of a long-standing institution that is uniquely Houston."

In a tweet, Travis playfully responded to his comments saying, "Y'all, what I was really trying to convey through that press release: I'm just really, really upset I can't see Lizzo #HoustonProud"

RodeoHouston reported the multi-day event had an economic impact of $227 million to the city.

Travis' District G comprises of an area in west Houston, stretching from the Energy Corridor to just south of Memorial Park.

RELATED: Montgomery County coronavirus patient attended BBQ Cookoff

The biggest livestock exhibitions and rodeos in the United States is coming to an end early.

Where are the coronavirus cases in the U.S.?