"My mother likely contracted the virus at the hospital where she worked during the period when your Executive Order No. GA-18 forbade local governments from implementing their own safety measures, such as mandating the wearing of masks, to protect the public and healthcare workers from the spread of COVID-19," Tulip wrote.
She added: "Other states and countries have managed to slow their spread by implementing simple policy measures such as mask-wearing."
After Texas hit a record-high 5,000 cases on June 23, Abbott re-issued his request for Texans to stay at home that night.
But Tulip told CNN her mother "didn't have the option to Netflix and chill" as a frontline worker and instead had to continue showing up to the hospital where she worked. She said the only places her mom went during the pandemic were to work and back home.
Papadimitriou first noticed symptoms of the virus on June 28 and spent the next days ill in bed, according to her daughter.
She documented her symptoms in a journal. In one entry, she wrote: “Dizziness, lightheaded, chills, body aches, huge headache, shaking and drowsy and a fever at 100.8 degrees. All at once at 10:30 pm."
"The next Saturday, she died," Tulip told CNN.
The governor's mask mandate on July 2 was "too late to help my mother," Tulip said.
"There will be far more deaths of Texans than there needed to be," Tulip wrote in her open letter, adding that to her the governor's "inaction and active denial" of the virus' impact "has made it clear that the people dying, and the families they’re leaving behind, are just numbers to you."
As she told Abbott: "My mother mattered."
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