Gov. Abbott, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins again trade jabs about COVID-19 response

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins blasted Governor Greg Abbott in the latest chapter of their ongoing criticism of one another.

Citing the governor's lack of leadership on containing the spread, Jenkins said in a statement that because of all of the mixed messaging and confusion over the last six weeks, it would be best if there was a statewide plan on issues such as masking, workplace separation, workplace safety, and limiting the number of people in facilities and at gatherings.

He added that we need the governor to either implement statewide the rules that we, along with business and health, came up with early on when urban counties were in charge of the state’s response that did a good job of curbing the spread, or go back to allowing the flexibility to counties to do that.

During an interview Tuesday night with our FOX sister station in Austin, Gov. Abbott was asked why he doesn't issue a statewide mask policy.

“The reason why there's not a statewide mandate on all individuals at all times is for a simple reason, and that's because a county judge up in Dallas, Texas got out of control and took action that put somebody in jail for not following his orders,” Abbot said.

Back in April, salon owner Shelley Luther reopened her business before it was allowed under the governor's order. And it was a state district judge -- not the city or the county -- who sent her to jail for violating a court order.

The governor said local leaders do have the power to implement effective policies like the one Dallas County approved that requires businesses to mandate customers and employees wear masks.