Abbott has banned mask and vaccine mandates in his home state
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he tested positive for the coronavirus — hours after posing maskless with blues rock musician Jimmie Vaughan.
Abbott, who is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, is currently receiving the Regeneron antibody treatment, according to a statement from his office released Tuesday, despite his public opposition to vaccine mandates and other COVID safety measures.
“The Governor has been testing daily, and today was the first positive test result,” the statement read. “The Governor will isolate in the Governor’s Mansion and continue to test daily. Governor Abbott is receiving Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment.”
Just a few hours before the announcement, Abbott posted pictures to his Twitter account of himself sitting with Texas musician Jimmie Vaughan, brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Vaughan’s family. Neither of the men wore masks.
Fortunately, Vaughan has tested negative.
“We want to let everyone know, that despite the news today of Governor Abbott’s positive Covid diagnosis, Jimmie & family have tested negative and are doing fine,” an official statement from his Twitter read. “Thanks so very much to all who reached out with concern. We wish the Governor a speedy recovery.”
The night before his positive test, Abbott attended a large fundraiser at a country club outside of Dallas. Photos and video posted by Abbott’s office showed a crowd of hundreds, largely elderly people, sans-masks.
The governor has opposed coronavirus mitigation measures such as vaccine mandates, mask mandates, or closing indoor dining throughout the pandemic. However, the rise of the Delta variant has made his laissez-faire approach a tad harder to justify to the White House and his own local governments,
He has forbidden local authorities across the state such as school boards and city legislatures from instituting coronavirus restrictions to slow the spread of the virus, an order which the Texas Supreme Court upheld Sunday. Dallas and San Antonio had attempted to defy the governor and issue their own mandates, actions which were upheld in lower courts before the high court shut them down.
Texas recorded 20,000 new cases of the virus multiple days last week. Hospitals across the state report to be filled with COVID-19 patients, most of them unvaccinated, and hospitalizations have surpassed their summer 2020 peak. State data also shows that multiple regions across Texas are now completely out of ICU beds.
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