As governors across the U.S. impose restrictions on restaurants and public gatherings, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is still letting local authorities make their own decisionsBy PAUL J. WEBER Associated PressMarch 18, 2020, 8:45 PM5 min readAUSTIN, Texas — Mayors are shuttering bars, governors are closing schools and President Donald Trump says avoid groups larger than 10 people. Rapidly across the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic is thrusting leaders at every level into hard decisions about where people can go, and how many at a time. But not Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, the chief executive in a state of 29 million people. Texas has reported more than 80 cases of the virus and three deaths related to the virus that causes COVID-19. But even as more and more governors impose sweeping restrictions, Abbott has held firm on deferring decisions about school and business closures to local authorities across 254 counties. It has left the Republican as a major holdout among the dwindling ranks of governors who have defended having a patchwork of different public health restrictions, which in Texas has varied starkly even between neighboring cities as big as Dallas and Fort Worth. On Wednesday, Abbott suggested his resistance was slipping as

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