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Gov. Abbott, staunch mask rule opponent, has ‘breakthrough’ case of Covid-19

AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a staunch opponent of mask mandates, is infected with a "breakthrough" case of Covid-19, the governor's office confirmed Tuesday.

Officials said Abbott was isolating in the governor's mansion following the positive test for Covid-19 earlier Tuesday; a statement indicated he was "currently experiencing no symptoms" and was "receiving Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment."

At the time of his positive test, officials said Abbott was fully-vaccinated, making his infection a "breakthrough" case.

Officials said Abbott's wife, Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott, tested negative - and others the governor has had close contact with had been notified about his diagnosis so they could decide whether to get tested.

Abbott's office said his isolation would have no impact on the ability of state government to operate.

According to The Houston Chronicle, the governor gave a speech Monday night to a crowd of about 600 people where there was little social distancing or mask-wearing. The governor also tweeted a photo of himself speaking indoors to the group of mostly mask-less Republican supporters. (See tweet at bottom of this article.)

Abbott has banned face mask and vaccination mandates in Texas. He is currently the target of lawsuits by numerous local governments - including the city of El Paso - over his ban on imposing mask requirements.

The governor's positive test result comes as hospitals across the state are strained with Covid-19 infections, with nearly 11,800 coronavirus patients hospitalized in the state as of Tuesday. There were just 327 ICU beds available in in all of Texas, according to state data.

The Texas Republican joins a list of state governors who have tested positive for Covid-19 throughout the pandemic, though Abbott's diagnosis is likely to fuel scrutiny from critics given his resistance to implementing mitigation measures as the Delta variant surges nationwide.

(ABC News and the AP contributed to this report.)

Article Topic Follows: Texas

Jim Parker

Jim Parker is the Director of Digital Content for ABC-7.


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