AUSTIN, Texas — Days after testing positive for COVID-19, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has now tested negative.
On Saturday, Abbott tweeted a video from the governor's mansion along with a video message announcing his negative result.
"I am now testing negative for Covid," he said. "I am told that my infection was brief & mild because of the vaccination I received. I will continue to quarantine as recommended by doctors. And, I will keep working on issues affecting Texas. God bless you all. And God bless Texas."
Abbott first tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday afternoon.
"Gov. Greg Abbott today tested positive for the COVID-19 virus,” Office of the Governor Communications Director Mark Miner said. “The governor has been testing daily, and today was the first positive test result. Gov. 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 said the governor would isolate in the governor's mansion and continue to test daily. He said Gov. Abbott received Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment.
The governor tweeted the following statement on Tuesday evening, along with a video message:
"As you may have heard, I have Covid. Right now I have no symptoms such as fever or aches and pains. Thanks for the well wishes from around the country. I will remain engaged every day to govern the great state of Texas. God bless you all, and God bless Texas."
Abbott received his COVID-19 vaccine in December of 2020 on live TV as part of a campaign to show it's "safe and easy." The governor's office at the time confirmed Abbott received the Pfizer vaccine.
"Gov. Abbott is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in good health, and currently experiencing no symptoms,” said Miner.
Those who have been in close contact with the governor have been notified.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Abbott delivered a speech on Monday night to a crowd of around 600 people in Collin County with few people wearing masks and almost no social distancing. On Twitter, Abbott called it a "standing room only event."
Guitarist Jimmie Vaughan, brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan, said he and his family tested negative after meeting with Abbott this week.
Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott continued to test negative as of Thursday, Abbott tweeted on Aug. 19. Abbott also said in his Thursday tweet that he was still quarantining.
After the news on Tuesday, Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued a statement wishing the governor well, and sending him wishes for "a smooth and speedy recovery."
"COVID is not a partisan issue," said Hinojosa. "This is a stark reminder that no one is immune to this surge, especially as the delta variant continues to spread rapidly among our communities. A year-and-a-half into this pandemic, all Texas families continue to grapple with COVID-19, and my heart goes out to all those impacted by this dangerous virus."
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick also released a statement about the positive test result.
"I am sorry to hear the news that Gov. Abbott has tested positive for COVID-19," said Patrick. "Please join Jan and me in prayer for him. I’ve been in touch with Gov. Abbott and I stand ready to assist him in any way possible."
The news comes as Texas is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, fueled by the highly contagious delta variant and lagging vaccination rates.
Texas reported 20,123 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the average to 12,622 per day over the past week – the highest since Feb. 5, up 20% from a week ago and up 448% from a month ago. There are 12,227 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized statewide in Texas – the most since Jan. 27, up 22% from a week ago and up 316% from a month ago.
Despite rising cases and hospitalizations, Abbott has resisted challenges to his executive order banning vaccine and mask mandates. The issue has made its way to the Texas Supreme Court as schools across the state implement mask requirements, defying the governor's order.
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