[guest post by Dana]
Texas Gov. Abbott tests positive for Covid-19:
Abbott, who is fully vaccinated, is not experiencing any symptoms and is isolating at the Governor’s Mansion, spokesperson Mark Miner said in a statement. He is getting Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment. Public health officials have noted that while breakthrough cases like Abbott’s are occurring, vaccines are still proven to be effective at reducing the severity of the virus.
“The Governor has been testing daily, and today was the first positive test result,” Miner said. “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.”
Miner added that “everyone that the Governor has been in close contact with today” has been informed of his positive test. The first lady, Cecilia Abbott, tested negative.
As a reminder:
Abbott’s positive test comes as the coronavirus pandemic is ripping through Texas again, with daily new cases and hospitalizations reaching levels not seen since the last wave in the winter. The governor has received national attention for his refusal to allow local governments and school districts to mandate masks or vaccines.
Unfortunately, the governor had been in contact with other unmasked Texans days before his test results came in:
Abbott has kept up public appearances in recent days. He spoke Monday night at what he called a “standing room only event” in Collin County, later tweeting photos of him addressing a maskless crowd. His campaign tweeted video of him mingling with the crowd, taking photos…
Less than three hours before his diagnosis was announced Tuesday afternoon, he tweeted pictures of a meeting with guitarist Jimmie Vaughan. The musician’s team said in a statement Tuesday evening that “Jimmie and family have tested negative and are doing fine.”
And here he is at last night’s event where everyone appears to be crowded indoors, and from what I can see, they aren’t wearing masks:
UPDATE: Gov. Greg Abbott tests positive for COVID after jam-packed, maskless GOP event https://t.co/yKt19lFmIa
— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) August 17, 2021
While 45% of Texas is fully vaccinated, the positivity rate continues to remain high:
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.
The governor is receiving a cocktail antibody treatment made by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. Apparently, Abbott has promoted the treatment in the past, and there is this: “Texas recently opened nine antibody infusion centers throughout the state that use the Regeneron antibodies.
Note: According to NBC News, Abbott told people that he had received a third booster shot of the vaccine. Unless one has a compromised immune system, booster shots have not yet been authorized by the FDA.