Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Critical Decisions: Which Texas Leaders Call The Shots On COVID-19, Part 2

Caroline Covington/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Read Part 1

A year of pandemic decision-making brought long-standing tensions between state and local leadership in Texas into sharp focus. Tensions peaked early, as a visible power struggle over decision-making authority flared up in the spring of 2020 between Gov. Greg Abbott and local officials. The two factions disagreed widely over whether mask ordinances and stay-at-home orders were needed and when. Abbott’s executive orders over the summer seemed to cool tensions, mainly because they left local leaders without much wiggle room to act independently.

But there were key moments later in the year when the rivalry resurfaced, including during the November general election and when vaccines finally became available in December to the most vulnerable Texans.

Texas Standard tracked all of these decisions between March 2020 and March 2021 to better understand Texas’ state-versus-local power dynamic, how it plays out across the state and, most importantly, how it has affected Texans’ health in a once-in-a-generation pandemic.

See the full project, including an interactive map, timeline, chart and more, at Texas Standard.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on and Thanks for donating today.

Caroline Covington is Texas Standard's digital producer/reporter. She joined the team full time after finishing her master's in journalism at the UT J-School. She specializes in mental health reporting, and has a growing interest in data visualization. Before Texas Standard, Caroline was a freelancer for public radio, digital news outlets and podcasts, and produced a podcast pilot for Audible. Prior to journalism, she wrote and edited for marketing teams in the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries. She has a bachelor's in biology from UC Santa Barbara and a master's in French Studies from NYU.
Related Content