Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that "if we don't get our hands around this virus quickly, in about two weeks, our hospital system could be in serious, serious trouble."

Why it matters: Turner said they can always add more beds, but the "major problem" will be ensuring there is enough medical staffing to care for the sick. In Harris County, where Houston sits, there are more than 34,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 190,000 cases in the state, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The state of play: Texas has seen a major surge in cases as the state started to reopen, prompting Gov. Greg Abbott to order a statewide mask mandate and the reclosing of bars.

  • Turner said, "From the beginning, when we started opening too quickly and when you layer that on top of everything else all the other activities that were taking place and people starting to resocialize, then you started to refuel the virus. And that's when the numbers started to increase."

Go deeper

Oct 13, 2020 - Politics & Policy

GOP senator defends Trump by claiming mask mandate would have failed

Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), one of President Trump's most loyal Senate allies, told "Axios on HBO" it was a sign of "respect" from the president to not push for nationwide face mask adoption.

Why it matters: Face masks are a key part of controlling the spread of coronavirus, and many state and local officials clashed over implementing mask mandates.

Mark Meadows refuses to wear mask while talking to reporters in Capitol

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows refused to speak to reporters outside Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation hearing on Monday after they requested that he keep his face mask on.

Why it matters: Meadows has been working out of the White House, which has become a hotspot for the coronavirus over the past two weeks.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!