coronavirus

Fort Worth Congressman Calls Out Young People for Gathering in Large Groups

Police say task force will enforce stay-at-home order

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A Fort Worth congressman is calling out people who ignore social distancing orders and made a video of a large group and posted it online.

"There are probably a hundred kids,” Rep. Marc Veasey said of the gathering on Miller Avenue Wednesday. "Like COVID-19 is not going on."

Veasey, a Democrat from Fort Worth, said he was troubled by what he saw.

“We really want a sense of seriousness in these (stay at home) orders so people know that this is a life-or-death matter."

Police say they are cracking down with a special pandemic task force whose goal is to educate people about social distancing.

"Writing a citation is the last response but if people don't change their behavior that's something we're going to start to do,” said Officer Tracy Carter.

When a few dozen people started gathering Thursday evening on Alta Mesa Boulevard at a vigil for a man who died in a motorcycle accident, the task force showed up, and the group dispersed within minutes.

A few people wore masks, but others ignored the rules by shaking hands and hugging.

It's virtually impossible to crack down on every large gathering in a big city, Carter said.

"I would say it's like ant piles,” he said. “When you suppress one, five more come up."

So community leaders are preaching the same message to stay home.

"If we see it's working, to me it makes sense to keep going,” said pastor Rodney McIntosh of Christ the Risen King Church.

He said young people, especially, aren't listening.

"If you feel like you're invincible, it's OK,” McIntosh said. “But stay at home because your grandmother is not invincible."

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