On New Year’s Eve, Abbott asked the federal Biden administration to help open more COVID-19 testing sites in the Lone Star State, as well as for more shipments of monoclonal antibody treatments. He needs these because, as in many other areas of the country, the virus is surging once again. Of course, places like Texas are in more serious need of these treatments as hospitalizations and severe cases are also surging in the state. Abbott, who has rarely promoted vaccinations but was an early booster receiver, tested positive for the virus this past August.
You would think this might change a person’s mind. You would be wrong. The second most populated state in the union only has a 56.9% rate of full vaccination. That low rate is in no small part due to Texas leadership. In October, instead of working on getting testing facilities up and running and vaccines into arms, Abbott and other state GOP officials were maskless and down at the border creating racist, anti-immigrant political theater. The anti-science public policy politics played by the GOP in the state have led to sad examples of what happens when elected officials do not care about their constituents.
The news that Texas was in COVID-related trouble came around the same time that Patrick, who has also attacked mask mandates and stay-at-home policies, began having “symptoms [that] were mild.” Patrick announced on Monday that he recently tested positive for COVID-19.
Abbott, who is now begging for a bail-out, is trying to make it sound like the Biden administration is to blame for his bad policies and the previous administration’s incompetence. You might remember that in June 2020, the Trump administration stopped funding seven coronavirus testing sites even as both Democratic representatives and Republican ones asked that the sites continue being funded. You know which Republican didn’t fight the Trump administration’s decision? You guessed it.
“The good news is there is a strategy that will supplant and actually be superior to that strategy [that] we will be announcing soon,” Abbott told KTVT-TV in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Pressed for a timeline, Abbott said the announcement would come “hopefully within a week.”
Abbott’s NYE declaration that “The State of Texas is urging the federal government to step up in this fight and provide the resources necessary to help protect Texans” rings a tad hollow.
Here’s a link to Abbott’s executive order “prohibiting vaccine mandates.” That was in October.