A Timeline of Bill Gravell’s failed COVID-19 management

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Morning of March 14, 2020: BG signed a local disaster declaration, which stated that large gatherings posed a risk for spreading COVID-19. 

Evening of March 14, 2020: BG appeared at a local megachurch and urged people to gather there, essentially saying that church gatherings were safer than other gatherings. He had the video broadcast all over social media. Already many local churches had cancelled in-person services, but he was urging people to not just congregate in churches, but to go shopping and go out to eat. Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci was saying that Americans needed to “hunker down significantly more.”

March 16, 2020: Following the Governor’s action, BG signed an order banning gatherings of 50 or more people in the county. 

March 18, 2020: BG signed another order banning gatherings of 10 or more.

March 24, 2020: BG signed the order to stay at home except for essential activities.

March 24, 2020: Admission from the official Williamson County PIO that Gravell’s Twitter account was NOT an “official source for accurate COVID-19 info.”

Morning of April 7, 2020: BG extended the stay-at-home order through the month of April. In that meeting he said “people are going to die because they are not practicing social distancing.”

Afternoon of April 7, 2020: BG broke his own order. He had his taxpayer funded chauffeur drive him by a fire station where he had pressured the chief to loan him a bunker suit, which he put on to attend a birthday party.

April 14, 2020: BG is rebuked by the court for spending money without authorization on 10 travel trailers and 5 refrigerated trailers (mobile morgues) over the previous couple of weeks.

April 21, 2020: BG attempts to be reimbursed for unauthorized $8,000 he spent on mask materials at Hobby Lobby.

April 27, 2020: BG says, “In the last 10 days we have seen an increase of 78% in new cases. Let us redouble our efforts in social distancing”

April 28, 2020: BG says, “Texas is ready to open for business.”

May 21, 2020: BG essentially declares mission accomplished, and asks for pity for himself and his own trials, while attacking those who dared to try to hold him accountable. 

June, 2020: Trends in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths begin to spike for the next 3 months.

August 11, 2020: BG says, “It’s time we lift the restrictions we have on our community and let them learn how to survive with this virus.”

November, 2020: Trends in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths begin to spike for the next 3 months.

November 23, 2020: BG pleads guilty to breaking his own order, will pay $1000 fine, in exchange for the other two charges being dropped. “Pawpaw Bill made an error in judgement that County Judge Gravell deeply regrets.”

November 30, 2020: BG posts a photo standing with a young couple for whom he performed a wedding, with no mask.

December 7, 2020: BG posts a photo at a local business ribbon cutting. Standing next to the owner with no mask.

December, 2020: BG featured in many stories, from The Federalist to Texas Monthly, for his hypocrisy in breaking his own order.

Christmas week, 2020: BG’s inability to maintain a productive relationship with the local health department boils over as the first vaccines arrive in Williamson County.

January 26, 2021: Under pressure, BG reluctantly acknowledges that he will be the single point person on the court to coordinate the court’s role in the vaccination effort.

January 31, 2021: BG declares that bars across Williamson County can re-open immediately.

February 1, 2021: Record for highest number of new COVID-19 cases announced.

March, 2021: Residents of the county continue to be confused and frustrated about the county’s vaccination program, many choosing to go to Bell County and even as far as Midland and Lubbock to get shots.

March 3, 2021: BG agrees with Gov. Abbott’s decree to open everything 100% and rescind mask mandate.

March 5, 2021: As of this date, Williamson County had a lower vaccination rate than most Texas counties, including the 15 largest counties (Williamson is 12th in population).

March 5, 2021: BG announced that all Williamson County offices would be open 100% on March 10, and that the public would not be required to wear masks. He announced that on April 1, employees would be required to work at their office in person, regardless of their vaccination status.

April, 2021: BG repeatedly misrepresents and inflates the vaccination statistics for Williamson County.

July 30, 2021: BG reveals that he was vaccinated back in March, but decides now is the time to publicly urge others to get vaccinated.

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