Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says he was, "both surprised and disappointed," by the letter Gov. Greg Abbott's office sent him on Sunday regarding the use of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.
Jenkins letter, sent to Abbott's office Monday, said that it's "completely false" that he did not want to use the Federal Medical Station (FMS) at the convention center.
Abbott's chief of staff, Luis Saenz, sent a letter Sunday to Jenkins which stated that the federal assistance for the Federal Medical Station, also known as the "pop-up" hospital at the convention center, would be relocated to another region if Jenkins didn't respond by 5 p.m. Monday and accept the facility.
The letter said Jenkins suggested to the Department of Defense, or other federal officials that he, "would not be utilizing the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center for hospital and healthcare use as has been provided by the federal government."
Jenkins' response is below.
Abbott and Jenkins both said they hadn't heard from each other. Jenkins said he and his staff are always available if the governor wants to chat.
Jenkins said there was miscommunication after a series of phone calls with other government officials and told the governor his line is always open.
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The county judge said the pop-up hospital is necessary, but it's not free.
In order to support the "wrap around" services to support operations at the pop-up hospital, it will cost about $4 million per week, and the county may be liable for a quarter of that money.
Jenkins said he would bring a funding proposal to Dallas County Commissioners on Tuesday. He said the funds would cover resources like food, security, transportation, laboratories and other services to support the FMS at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
He said currently Dallas area hospitals are about 50% full, and the county doesn't plan to use the convention center as an overflow once hospitals become crowded.
Below is the letter Saenz sent to Jenkins on Sunday.