Judge Jenkins first had to politely disagree with the host’s framing of the “fight” between Judge Jenkins and Gov. Abbott. Jenkins, very diplomatically explained that Abbott and far-right radical County Commissioner JJ Koch (also calling for Texas to practice freedom by imposing negligent public health measures) are not the enemies. “We are all on the same team, and that team is public health.”
Judge Jenkins went on to explain that local doctors and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)—as well as most (if not all) experts—are telling the judge that masks need to be worn in the hopes of mitigating the spread of COVID-19, especially as the new, more transmittable delta variant becomes the dominant strain. Judge Jenkins also very adeptly undercut the right’s attempts at arguing Jenkins was making a dictatorial decision, explaining that he had spoken to superintendents from public schools, representatives from the Retailer’s Association, Manufacturers Association, the Restaurant Association, the Chamber of Commerce, to name a few.
After lamenting that right-wingers like JJ Koch are creating politics out of a public health crisis, Judge Jenkins made a case for his decision as clear as crystal: “The people that have trained their entire adult lives to advise us in this moment, work at the CDC and our local hospitals; and what they are all saying is right now, in Texas, and in North Texas, in an area where 8 million people—and a 19-county area—we only have two pediatric ICU beds left. It’s time to wear a mask indoors.”
Since that time, Jenkins’ home has been surrounded by anti-maskers under the delusion that the Judge has taken away some of their personal freedom. On the one hand, they are correct. Like the guys that fought to save the Alamo so that they could continue to have the personal freedom to own slaves, these Texans are under the belief that their personal feelings are more important than the public’s well-being and our society as a whole’s longevity. On the other (less diseased) hand, they are 100% full of shit and have allowed their fears, uncertainties, and bigotries drive them into the most irrational thinking.
On Friday, Judge Jenkins appeared on video to once again make it clear what it is that people on the right are fighting for—dead children. He explained that his own children were being verbally assaulted every evening by the anti-maskers who pretend to care about the welfare of children, and then he tried to be even more clear than crystal on what is happening in Dallas, Texas, as we speak. “In Dallas, we have zero ICU beds left for children. That means that if your child is in a car wreck, your child has a congenital heart defect or something that needs an ICU bed, or more likely they have COVID and need an ICU bed, we don’t have one. Your child will wait for another child to die. Your child will just not get on the ventilator.”
At a press conference on Tuesday, Judge Jenkins tried to focus the public away from the politics of the virus, and more importantly on the public health measures essential at this time. “We all must do all that we can to protect public health.” Wearing a mask, Judge Jenkins explained that with all of the press and people he wanted to make sure that he was practicing the safest protections available to him. Addressing school superintendents, Judge Jenkins paraphrased the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “A great man will not take part in a process in which a child can get harmed.”
The full interview with Judge Jenkins on News Nation begins around the 5:50 mark here.
Here is Judge Clay Jenkins full press conference from Tuesday.