I. Am. Livid. By the time I finish this tweet story abt my beloved alma mater @utaustin, you may be too. I am normally a proud Longhorn (‘00, ‘12), Texas Scholar & @texasexes lifetime member. But tonight I am disgusted, appalled & ashamed. This event was held yesterday. 1/n
This isn’t just a random club having a meal. The Forty Acres Scholars are the cream of the crop, the best of the best. The program grew out of Texas Scholars, the most prestigious @TexasExes scholarship at @UTAustin when I attended. Texas Scholars go on to great things. 2/n
Texas Scholars go on to be teachers, ace lawyers, entrepreneurs, NFL coaches, cancer researchers, nonprofit founders—and those are just some of my friends from when we were in Texas Scholars together. @TexasExes Forty Acres Scholars grew from that program. 3/n
Forty Acres Scholars from @TexasExes are *supposed to be* tomorrow’s leaders. But right now, they’re acting like today’s superspreaders. This gathering was irresponsible and counter to the values I learned at @UTAustin. This post said students had the “option” of attending. 4/n
But let me toss out some facts about “optional.” These @UTAustin students are headed home next week—and may end up among the 40% of Americans who plan to celebrate Thanksgiving with at least 10 people, I defiance of public health recommendations. 5/n
A majority of them are likely headed to a home somewhere in Texas, the first state to surpass 1 million Covid infections, where an estimated ONE IN SIX people are infected with Covid. 6/n @TexasExes

Let’s consider that math. I count 29 students. Statistically, 4-5 of these students are likely Covid positive, may have spread it to others, all of whom are soon headed home. At those Thanksgiving dinners of 10+ people, 1 or 2 likely have Covid. 7/n @TexasExes
These @TexasExes Forty Acres Scholars may have chosen the “option” of this risk, but they also chose for their families, who won’t deny them a seat at Thanksgiving dinner. AND they’re choosing for all the Texans who won’t get care when cases explode AGAIN after the holiday. 8/n
I live in a household w a VERY high risk individual & I’m high risk—I had a PE when I was 18. I’m in Tarrant County, where ICU bed capacity is at 92%. What do you think will happen a couple weeks after we all sit down for dinner next Thursday? 9/n
What’ll happen is an explosion of new Covid cases as this pandemic rages more out of control w no meaningful leadership from DC or @GregAbbott_TX.

There. Will. Be. MANY. Deaths. Ask @ogeisimo, who told me about the horrors in El Paso right now. 10/n
El Paso is in Texas. Maybe one of these @TexasExes Forty Acres Scholars is from El Paso. I don’t know. I just know they’ve made an irresponsible, selfish decision to attend an event that the adults leading them—even more at fault—NEVER should have offered them. 11/n
A few weeks before the country shut down in mid-March, I attended a @TexasExes Forty Acres event in Dallas. I met a couple of the remarkable students who were invited to this dinner. (I don’t know if any I met attended.) Now I see those impressive Scholars HERE?! 12/n
I see tomorrow’s leaders from @UTAustin putting their enjoyment over their community? They’re contributing to the scarcity of precious healthcare resources ppl I know, essential workers like my fellow Longhorn sister @RHSAVIDBrown, a HS teacher, may need. Shame on @TexasExes 13/n
I am disgusted. I am appalled. I am ashamed. @TexasExes, especially Forty Acres Scholars, should represent the best Texas has to offer. Instead, they’re setting the worst possible example & demonstrating exactly how we’ll keep racking up death after death after death... 14/14 Fin

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More from @tarahaelle

9 Aug
@SaskiaPopescu @jeromeusa @ShellyMBoulder It’s perfectly w/in epidemiologists’ lanes to say clinical trial evidence is needed before we can say HEPA filters actually reduce transmission/cases. No one’s questioning whether they improve indoor air quality. The ? is whether they prevent COVID cases. Can’t say w/o trials.
@SaskiaPopescu @jeromeusa @ShellyMBoulder Engineers’ lane is about what diff filtration systems do/don’t do wrt affecting particles in the air. Epidemiologists’ lane is about whether those changes to air particles actually results in any significant change to transmission of the actual disease. You need trials to know.
@SaskiaPopescu @jeromeusa @ShellyMBoulder Sure, would be great to replace all indoor systems (schools, offices, etc) w HEPA filters to improve overall indoor air quality, independent of Covid. But for places deciding on filtration SPECIFIC to Covid, it’s intellectually dishonest to say it’ll reduce cases until it’s shown
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