Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has tested positive for COVID-19, and I’m sure we all saw this coming.
According to CNN, Abbott’s office made a statement on Tuesday that said the Republican governor is fully vaccinated and experiencing no symptoms. He’s reportedly been getting tested every day and just got his first positive result. This announcement comes after he just attended the Republican Club meeting and fundraiser at Heritage Ranch on Monday. Needless to say, almost all the attendees were maskless, and there was very little elbow room.
Abbott has been in the news lately for being quite the enemy of progress in the coronavirus pandemic, especially as it spreads rapidly through his state. He has been against public health measures including mask and vaccine mandates in Texas and issued a statewide ban on them in late July.
From the Texas Tribune:
Abbott addressed the diagnosis in a video posted to his Twitter account about two and a half hours after his office’s announcement. He reiterated he was not feeling any symptoms and suggested one reason for that may be the fact he is vaccinated. Abbott got his first shot late last year, and the vaccine is known to prevent serious cases.
The Texas Tribune notes Abbott’s positive test comes at a time when hospitalizations for COVID have skyrocketed in the state. Currently, Texas also has the most pediatric cases and very few ICU beds left.
Pandemic indicators in Texas have been sharply rising. The state reported 5,343 new cases Monday and 11,791 hospitalizations Sunday. The seven-day average of the positivity rate — the ratio of cases to tests — was 17.8% on Sunday. That was a slight dip but still well above the 10% threshold that Abbott has identified as dangerous.
Abbott is also undergoing an antibody treatment, a cocktail made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, that is meant to treat mild symptoms in people who have a high chance of progressing to a more serious condition. It’s unclear why he’s receiving it if he’s not experiencing symptoms but the Tribune reports the governor’s spokesperson, Renae Eze, said, it is “recommended that you begin Regeneron within 10 days of testing positive and before you start experiencing symptoms.”
Abbott’s wife, first lady Cecilia Abbott, has tested negative, and everyone who has been in contact with the governor has been notified.