Harris Co. Judge facing scrutiny for holding political rally amid 'severe' COVID-19 threat level

In January at the direction of Judge Lina Hidalgo, Harris County's COVID-threat level was elevated to "Red" signifying a "severe and uncontrolled level" of virus spread with "outbreaks worsening."

MORE: Harris County COVID-19 threat level now highest category 'red'; more tests for school districts

A month later, with condition "Red" still in place, candidate Hidalgo held a political rally that attracted at least 200 supporters, some of whom wore masks, while others didn't.

Several attendees confirmed to FOX 26 their vaccine status was not checked as a condition of admission.

"I believe it is negligence by the leader that runs this County," said Erica Davis, Hidalgo's opponent in the Democratic primary. "I believe you can't bend the rules or the policies that you create."

Davis says the Judge simply did not practice what she has preached.

"To have a rally and to not have proof if one is vaccinated or not, whether in closed doors or outdoors, you are still bringing people together," said Davis.

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Bringing people together" including prominent local Democratic officials who were also mask-less.

Under threat level "Red" vaccinated Harris County residents are advised to "follow the latest public health guidance in crowded outdoor settings" while unvaccinated residents are asked to "minimize contact with others...and avoid all gatherings."

Columnist Bill King has written extensively about both the pandemic and the Harris County government.

"Well they didn't check the vaccination status, and I've talked to three people who confirmed that they didn't, and you can see from the video that the vast majority of people were standing in very close proximity," he said. "In fact, they were all encouraged to come up close to the stage."


"This is a clear example of her acting one way in public when she was trying to express concern about the virus and acting another way when it came to her re-election," King continued. "You are left with an extreme example of hypocrisy."

"Most people in Harris County pay little attention to the Judge's threat level," said Tom Ramsey, Harris County Commissioner Pct. 3. "It appears now she's joining them."


FOX 26 reached out to Hidalgo's Communication Director, her press secretary, and her campaign manager. As of this writing, none have yet responded to calls, e-mails, and texts seeking explanation and a response.