Governor threatens federal government will move resources away from Dallas if judge does not express need
DALLAS - Governor Greg Abbott’s chief of staff sent a letter to Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins Sunday, stating federal assistance - in the form of hospital capacity - could be moved away from Dallas if the judge does not confirm the need for it.
The letter states, “I have been informed that you suggested to the Department of Defense…that you would not be utilizing the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center for hospital and healthcare use as has been provided by the federal government.”
It goes on to state, “If you cannot make clear the acceptance of these facilities by 5:00 on Monday, April 6th, the federal government may be forced to relocate these healthcare facilities to other regions.”
Internal communications obtained by FOX4, between the National Guard and Texas Department of Emergency Management, question Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins' intentions in moving patients into the convention center, and suggest confusion in how the Department of Defense should move forward.
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The Dallas County judge responded, via Twitter, that “it is not true,” implying he does intend to use the convention center for COVID-19 patients.
Jenkins also discussed this during his press conference Sunday afternoon, saying, "We are working hours and hours a day to stand up that resource. I want the public to be clear. Dallas County... does want that resource."
FOX4 obtained internal communications between the National Guard and Texas Department of Emergency Management that question Jenkins' intentions of moving patients into the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, and suggest confusion in how the Department of Defense should move forward.
In a voicemail, the caller says, "We had a call with Judge Clay Jenkins, his team...has no intentions of moving patients into the convention center and the Department of Defense in confused."
The letter also suggests that the judge is at odds with the needs and concerns articulated by Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.
The mayor issued his own statement Sunday, “I share the Governor’s concerns, and I was stunned and deeply disappointed to hear about Dallas County's position on the pop-up hospital at the City’s Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.”