Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Tests Positive For COVID-19
Gov. Greg Abbott has tested positive for COVID-19, his office announced Tuesday.
In a statement, Abbott's office said the governor has no symptoms, but that he is currently isolating at the governor's mansion in Austin. His wife, Cecilia, did not test positive for COVID-19, the statement said.
Abbott is currently receiving antibody treatment and is in "good health," Communications Director Mark Miner said. The governor was vaccinated against the coronavirus in December.
Abbott's diagnosis comes as Texas is seeing its highest COVID-related hospitalizations at any point in the pandemic, and as hospitals have just 314 available ICU beds in a state of more than 29 million people.
Abbott is also currently locked in several legal battles over whether schools, cities and counties can require masks.
In May, the governor issued an executive order banning local officials from mandating masks. He doubled down on the ban last month. As schools have begun in-person classes, many districts have openly defied his order; Texas' four largest counties are currently suing him over it.
Abbott has consistently defended his ban on mask requirements, arguing Texans should have the "personal choice" of whether to wear masks and that the Texas Constitution allows him to overrule any local order.
As of this week, there were at least seven legal challenges to Abbott's order.
Abbott’s office said he has been tested daily and that everyone he’s been in “close contact with today” has been notified of his positive test.
Monday night, Abbott attended an indoor campaign event at a Collin County Country Club with dozens of supporters. He tweeted about meeting Austin guitarist Jimmie Vaughan hours before his test result was made public. Vaughan tweeted Tuesday night that he tested negative for COVID-19 and wished the governor a speedy recovery.
The news comes as the governor is in a partisan spat over voting legislation. House Democrats fled to Washington, D.C., to prevent passage of what they see as harmful legislation. Abbott has demanded lawmakers pass the bill and a slate of others in the two special legislative sessions he's called this summer.
In the announcement Tuesday, Miner said Abbott is "in constant communication" with state officials to "ensure that the state government continues to operate smoothly and efficiently."