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Statement on Judge Lina Hidalgo’s Broad Emergency Powers for COVID-19

HOUSTON – Today, Alexandra del Moral Mealer, a Republican candidate for Harris County Judge, released a statement on the broad emergency powers granted to Judge Lina Hidalgo on March 16, 2020, under the state’s disaster declaration related to the pandemic. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the Harris Health System had zero COVID-19 patients as of April 15, 2022.

“The problem with giving politicians power is that many of them never want to let it go. Earlier this month, in a 3-2 party-line vote at Commissioners Court, Democrats allowed Judge Lina Hidalgo to keep her emergency powers using COVID-19 as the justification. However, the recent report of zero COVID-19 patients at Harris Health System couldn’t be sending a clearer signal—the pandemic is over, and our elected officials need to catch up to the rest of Harris County residents and get back to business as usual.

Through Lina Hidalgo’s use of emergency powers during the pandemic, which included closing public places as well as placing restrictions on private businesses and churches, her administration has dramatically transformed the role of County Judge to an all-intrusive force. Instead of providing well-maintained infrastructure and safe neighborhoods, Lina’s administration has limited civil liberties by stepping into the role of parents, business owners and churchgoers.

When Lina issued her mask mandate for toddlers this past August, we were already well past the emergency phase of this pandemic. These destructive, arbitrary, and unscientific rules that have characterized Lina’s administration must stop, and as the next Harris County Judge, I am committed to protecting the residents of Harris County while also preserving civil liberties.”

Alexandra is a West Point graduate, a dual-degree holder from Harvard University (JD/MBA), and a proud wife and mother. She is blessed with two precocious toddlers who she is raising alongside her husband Clay, a fellow West Point graduate and combat veteran. On November 11, 2021, she announced her plans to leave the private sector and her career in oil & gas finance to pursue a new stage of service.