Patterico's Pontifications


Fully Vaccinated Governor of Texas Tests Positive For Covid-19

Filed under: General — Dana @ 4:03 pm

[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:

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.


Sen. Ted Cruz Intentionally Misrepresents CNN Reporter’s Observations From Kabul To Score Political Points

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:25 am

[guest post by Dana]

CNN’s Clarissa Ward reported from the streets of Kabul yesterday. Despite the fact that the Taliban were nearby (and later approached Ward and told her to move aside because she was a woman), Ward, who wisely adapted her clothing in order to blend in, nonetheless gave us the opportunity to see what the city looked like as the Taliban moved into power. She considered the absolute surrealness of the situation, including Kabul falling to the Taliban, the lack of women on the streets, and the people’s fear of what was to come:

It’s obvious that any female news reporter in Kabul who is doing her job while in the midst of the Taliban is bravely determined to let the world see for itself what is happening. From her report in the video, Ward offered this observation of the Taliban:

“They were just chanting “Death to America,” but they seem friendly at the same time. It’s utterly bizarre.”

Now, Sen. Ted Cruz, who doesn’t lack for intelligence and clearly understood the fuller context of Ward’s obersvation, nonetheless chose to score cheap political points by insulting Ward’s (and our) intelligence by cherry picking this particular sound byte to present CNN and their reporter as un-American:

Unfortunately, other right-leaning sites chose to play Sen. Cruz’s game as well:

Cruz retweeted Benny Johnson, a right-wing activist, who shared abbreviated clips of Ward reporting from Kabul in an effort to paint her as praising the Taliban. The clip made the rounds online in right-wing circles on Monday. The Daily Wire, a right-wing outlet, and the Republicans’ House Judiciary Committee Twitter accounts also shared the clip. Other Republican lawmakers, including Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn and Georgia Rep. Jody Hice, also shared the clip criticizing CNN.

CNN wasn’t having any of it and pointed out the obvious:

“Rather than running off to Cancun in tough times, @clarissaward is risking her life to tell the world what’s happening. That’s called bravery. Instead of RTing a conspiracy theorist’s misleading soundbite, perhaps your time would be better spent helping Americans in harm’s way.”

What is absurd about Cruz and his fellow Republicans using out-of-context statements to reassure their constituents that CNN is still the enemy but Republicans are on it, is that one only has to watch the entirety of Ward’s report to know that they are intentionally misrepresenting her. And I suspect that these same politicians and pundits are likely watching CNN themselves just to see what is taking place in Kabul right now. Moreover, there is great irony here, as Erik Wemple points out:

And now for the irony: People like Cruz are wise to watch CNN’s well-funded, on-the-ground coverage of crises such as the one now unfolding in Kabul. It helps them sharpen their critiques of President Biden. They might consider how informed they would be if people like Ward weren’t risking their hides for the story. But they won’t.

So if I were playing Sen. Ted Cruz’s game, I’d ask him why he hates women so much.


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