Texas Governor Abbott, who banned masks mandates, checks constructive for Covid

Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks in Dallas, Texas.

Lucas Jackson | Reuters

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who has fought local officials across the state over mask mandates, has tested positive for Covid-19, his office said Tuesday.

Abbott is fully vaccinated, “is in good health and currently has no symptoms,” said a statement from his office.

“Governor Abbott is in constant communication with his staff, officials and government officials to ensure that the state government continues to operate smoothly and efficiently,” his office said. Abbott receives monoclonal antibody treatment from Regeneron and plans to isolate it at the Governor’s Mansion. His wife, Cecilia Abbott, tested negative. Abbott, who is otherwise healthy, was paralyzed below the waist after an oak tree fell on him while jogging and left him in a wheelchair in 1984.

The announcement of Abbott’s disease comes just days after the governor called for 2,500 medical workers outside the state to fight the coronavirus. He also called for state hospitals to postpone all elective procedures to make way for treating more Covid patients as the Delta variant floods the state’s health infrastructure.

Abbott on Friday unveiled a plan to set up nine monoclonal antibody infusion centers across the state as Covid patients clog hospitals across the state. Nearly 45% of the 6,959 ICU beds reported in Texas are currently occupied by coronavirus patients, compared with 26% nationwide, according to the Department of Health.

Texas reported a seven-day average of more than 15,000 new Covid cases on Tuesday, up over 6% from a week, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

A staunch opponent of masking requirements, Abbott issued an executive order in July banning local governments and school districts from requiring face-covering and fined US $ 1,000. School districts in San Antonio and Dallas defied Abbott and received injunctions last week that initially prevented Abbott from enforcing his ban.

But the Texas Supreme Court sided with Abbott on Sunday and prevented the mask mandates from going into effect temporarily. Local city and school officials say they plan to continue fighting Abbott’s mask ban in court.

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