Austin, TX

Did Abbott Deserve to Catch COVID?

Ash Jurberg
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As the news of Texas Governor Greg Abbott's positive COVID test spread across the United States today, the question many people are asking is, "did he deserve to get COVID?"

That may sound harsh, but with COVID cases surging in Texas, hospitals are overwhelmed, and county officials are battling Abbott and Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton in court.

Firstly it is important to state that Abbott was fully vaccinated in 2020 and is experiencing no symptoms. He is isolating in Austin within the governor's mansion. His wife, Cecilia, has tested negative at this stage.

The shock COVID case has captured the attention of the American public. Soon after the news, texas Governor Greg Abbott was the number one trending topic on Google.
Google screenshot courtesy of the author

Social media has been dominated by Abbott as people ask if he deserves to have caught COVID. As Texas battles against the new delta variant of COVID, Abbott has been steadfast in his stance on masks. He has refused to introduce a mask mandate.

Abbott himself turned to social media to post a video update. He said, " 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."

Of concern is the fact that the day before his positive test, Abbott was not wearing a mask while speaking indoors near Dallas to a group of GOP supporters. Many in attendance were also unmasked. As a result, there is a chance that this event at the Republican Club at Heritage Ranch could become a super-spreading event.

Given the large number of people and the apparent lack of social distancing at the event and the fact it is being held indoors, was Abbott irresponsible in not wearing a mask?

As schools in Texas return, officials across Bexar, Harris, Dallas, and Travis Counties have fought against Abbott and his reluctance to impose masks. According to some polls, 72% of Texans oppose Abbott's ban on masks.

Today Disability Rights Texas filed a federal lawsuit against both Abbott and Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath. The suit alleges that the order violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and federal protections for students with disabilities.

“As a result, Governor Abbott and TEA have erected an unlawful barrier, which will impact many students with disabilities and prevent local school districts and communities from providing a safe learning environment for their most vulnerable students",

Democratic opponents such as former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro have criticized Abbott for prioritizing politics over public health.

"Governor Abbott has put his own Republican primary politics before the public health since day one. I hope he recovers quickly. I also hope he will act more responsibly on behalf of Texas children and families." Julian Castro

Not only has Abbott rallied against masks he has also hit out at businesses requiring proof of vaccination for entry. Earlier this week, two restaurants in Austin were forced to backtrack on their entry policy.

While we would never wish COVID on any person, it is ironic that Abbott, who has opposed measures to limit the spread, has now caught COVID. Let's hope that this can be used in a positive way for the people of Texas. And in particular, the children that are returning to school.

And importantly, we wish Abbott the best in his recovery.

Readers, what do you think? Do you find it ironic that Abbott has caught COVID? Do you believe he deserved this? Or do you agree that it is his right not to wear a mask at a heavily attended indoor event? Finally, how have you reacted to the news of Abbott's positive COVID test today?

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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San Antonio, TX

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