“Governor Greg Abbott today tested positive for the COVID-19 virus,” wrote Communications Director Mark Miner. “The Governor has been testing daily, and today was the first positive test result. Governor Abbott is in constant communication with his staff, agency heads, and government officials to ensure that state government continues to operate smoothly and efficiently. The Governor will isolate in the Governor’s Mansion and continue to test daily. Governor Abbott is receiving Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment.”
Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment is the same treatment former President Trump received after contracting the virus last October.
“Governor Abbott is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in good health, and currently experiencing no symptoms,” the statement continued. “Everyone that the Governor has been in close contact with today has been notified. Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott tested negative.”
Abbott, 63, has been aggressive in ensuring preventative measures like masks and vaccines are not mandated in Texas. He signed an executive order last month holding that no government entity receiving state funds can require masks or vaccinations, while declaring that there will be “no Covid-19-related operating limits for any business or other establishment.”
Abbott has drawn sharp criticism for clamping down on preventative measures while the Delta variant sweeps through the state, causing the infection rate to skyrocket. Last week, the Harris County Attorney’s Office filed a lawsuit against Abbott alleging he “misused his authority under Texas disaster laws” in signing the order.
Covid-related hospitalizations in Texas have increased 71 percent in the last two weeks, while the case rate has increased 53 percent over that same time period, according to The New York Times. Abbott may personally be contributing to the rise. The Covid-positive governor met with Texans at an event in Collin County last night. He wasn’t wearing a mask.
Collin County is fired up to keep Texas RED.
Thank you to the Republican Club at Heritage Ranch! pic.twitter.com/e318IaWsc1
— Texans for Abbott (@AbbottCampaign) August 17, 2021
In addition to the overall rise in cases, Texas has seen a surge in cases in nursing homes, and along with Florida leads the nation in pediatric hospitalizations. As of Saturday, 96 percent of ICU beds in the state were occupied thanks to the surge. CNN reported on Tuesday that the state’s health services department requested five mortuary trailers earlier this month.