August 19, 2021
Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R), 63, has tested positive for COVID-19 and is under quarantine—being treated with monoclonal antibodies—the governor’s office announced in a release on August 17, reported DFW, a CBS-TV local affiliate.
“Governor Greg Abbott today tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. 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.”
While Governor Abbott has fought masking in schools and a mask mandate overall, back in 2020, on Tuesday, December 22, he joined the ranks of governors receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on live television in hopes of assuring the public that the inoculations are safe.
But that’s as far as he went: Back in April, he issued an executive order stopping government agencies and state-funded organizations from requiring proof of vaccination.
Then, on Thursday, July 29, he issued a new executive order to bring “clarity and uniformity” to the state’s COVID-19 response. The new order bans any local government in the state from requiring residents to get vaccinated. It also allows any business to continue operating at full capacity, no matter the virus’ rate of spread or how many people are hospitalized with COVID-19.
Now—with cases of the Delta variant skyrocketing throughout the state—Abbott appealed for out-of-state help on Monday, August 9.
Abbott has directed the Texas Department of State Health Services to use staffing agencies to find additional medical staff from beyond the state’s borders as the delta wave began to overwhelm its present staffing resources.
He also has sent a letter to the Texas Hospital Association to request that hospitals postpone all elective medical procedures voluntarily. Hospital officials in Houston said last week that area hospitals with beds had insufficient numbers of nurses to serve them.
Abbott also directed the state health department and the Texas Division of Emergency Management to open additional COVID-19 antibody infusion centers to treat patients not needing hospital care and expand COVID-19 vaccine availability to the state’s underserved communities.
The governor is taking action short of lifting his emergency order banning county and local government entities from requiring the wearing of masks and social distancing to lower the COVID-19 risk. He has said repeatedly that Texans have the information and intelligence to make their own decisions on what steps to take to protect their health and the health of those around them.
Abbott isn’t currently experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, according to his office.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who is often at odds with Gov. Abbott when it comes to COVID-19 response, tweeted, “I hope @GovAbbott gets well quickly. Our enemy is the virus. Its enemy is all of us.”
Research contact: @CBSDFW