Friday’s biggest developments:
- Dan Patrick pens op-ed saying sports should return with fans in the stadiums
- Former Texas think tank leader tapped for White House domestic policy role, according to reports
Dan Patrick pens op-ed saying sports should return with fans in the stadiums
[11:15 a.m.] Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick thinks sports fans should be able to attend games as long as some guidelines are in place, he wrote in a Friday opinion piece for The Dallas Morning News.
“Let’s end all this talk about playing in empty stadiums,” Patrick wrote. “Let the games begin with fans in the seats.”
The lieutenant governor’s ideas come a day after Gov. Greg Abbott hinted he may have news of sports facility reopenings in his upcoming Monday press conference, he said in a Thursday KBTX interview. Texas A&M University officials have said it plans to commence fall football.
Patrick laid out a series of proposals outdoor and indoor stadiums could implement to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic. Stadiums should limit fan capacity, implement a social distance seating chart and check everyone’s temperature when they go through security. If a person’s temperature is high they can’t attend the game and should get a refund.
The lieutenant governor also proposed ways to skim time off the actual game by limiting timeouts in the last minute of basketball games and limiting how long a batter in baseball can step out of the box to readjust their gloves.
“I don’t believe Anthony Fauci should anoint himself as the commissioner of sports and tell the owners, players and fans what to do,” Patrick wrote. — Stacy Fernández
Former Texas policy group leader reportedly tapped to oversee Trump administration’s domestic agenda
[5 a.m.] President Donald Trump is slated to name Brooke Rollins, the former CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and now longtime White House official, as acting domestic policy adviser, The New York Times reported Thursday night.
In that role, Rollins reportedly will help oversee Trump’s domestic agenda as the president encourages several states to relax existing restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. She will succeed Joe Grogan, who said two weeks ago he planned to step down in May.
Rollins left TPPF in 2018 after leading the conservative think tank for 15 years. She took a job in the White House Office of American Innovation — which is led by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser.
According to the Times, White House staff secretary Derek Lyons was also floated as a potential successor to Grogan. Instead, Lyons will remain in his post and serve as counselor to the president.
TPPF did not immediately respond to a request for comment. — Alex Samuels
Texas health officials expected to announce latest number of coronavirus infections
[5 a.m.] Texas health officials are expected to announce the latest coronavirus test counts Friday, a day after the state reported the largest increase in positive tests and deaths. At least 43,851 people have tested positive for the new coronavirus in Texas, and at least 1,216 have died. See maps of the latest case numbers for each county and case rates per 1,000 residents. — Chris Essig
Disclosure: The Texas Public Policy Foundation has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.