Austin Mayor Steve Adler on COVID-19 surge in Texas

Hospitalizations have hit record highs multiple days this week.
2:51 | 07/04/20

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Transcript for Austin Mayor Steve Adler on COVID-19 surge in Texas
Joining us from the hard hit state of Texas is Austin mayor Steve Adler. Mayor Adler, thanks so much for happy fourth to you. I want to talk about the hospitalizations because that's always factoring into this when we talk about cases surging. They've hit record highs multiple days this week in your state. You're urging people to stay home for the holiday weekend. Do you think the people of Austin will take your warning seriously? Well, I tell you, I sure hope they do. The trajectory we're on for new hospitalizations have us inundating our hospitals in about two weeks. We're going to have to change our behaviors, change the trajectory if we're going to help protect our people and our doctors and nurses. Two weeks is definitely a concern. You've banned groups of more than 10 people. Masks are also now mandatory statewide. How do you plan on enforcing these new rules this holiday weekend? Well, enforcement is going to be out but I'll tell you, if you're -- you can't enforce your way into compliance on something like this. It has to be something that the community wants to do, so we've been having quite the extensive campaign for the last two weeks pointing to this weekend. It's going to be a lot of individual choices that will add up to the community action and I just hope that this is something that we're together on. You've been critical of governor Greg Abbott saying that he's done too little too late. He did recently put in that mask requirement. He also closed bars. But still restaurants are open, movie theaters are open. Barber shops are open. What do you think he should have done sooner, and do you think now he might need to scale back the re-opening? You know, probably three things I would have done differently. Wouldn't have started so fast so we would have testing and tracing more in place. Second, when we opened number phases there would have been pauses between phases so that we could have learned the data and information about each phase before we went to the next one. And then third, the big lesson in Texas I think is you can't open up the economy the same way the economy was opened in January and February. You actually have to adapt and innovate. We have to do restaurants differently. We have to do bars differently. We have to be more creative and we're probably going to have to do that until there is a vaccine and we didn't do that and we're going to have to restart and try this again. Mayor, quickly just to follow up on that question, the second part, do you think another shutdown is required for your state? I hope not. It's a last resort. But we have plans to do that. We started talking to the community in case it's something that we need to do to tamp down the virus to give us a clean restart. Don't want to do it. But it's certainly an arrow in the quiver at this point. Mayor Adler, our thanks to you. We are wishing your city the very best on this holiday Eva?

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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