Greg Abbott

Abbott Tests Negative For COVID-19, Encourages Texans to Get Vaccinated

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is tested daily for COVID-19 and received monoclonal antibody treatment after his positive test

Greg Abbott
Mike Heimbuch, NBC 5 News

Four days after testing positive for COVID-19, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) says he tested negative Saturday.

Abbott said doctors told him his infection was "brief and mild" because he is fully vaccinated and he encouraged Texans to get vaccinated in a message he shared on Twitter.

Abbott said his wife, Cecilia Abbott, has not tested positive.

Guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend vaccinated people quarantine for 10 days after symptoms first appeared, however, Abbott said he never showed symptoms.

He said he will continue to quarantine, based on guidance from doctors, but will continue to work -- particularly on opening antibody treatment centers across the state.

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Abbott, of late, has drawn plenty of criticism for his handling of the pandemic and has been taken to court by several local jurisdictions over his executive order banning mask mandates statewide. The mandate has come under heavy fire as the delta variant continues to spread across the state and as hundreds of thousands of children head back to school this month, many of whom are too young to be vaccinated.

Abbott has recommended vaccinations as a personal choice but refuses to require face masks or vaccines as a mitigation effort to stop the spread of the virus despite those recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities.

Abbott's office did not say where he may have contracted the virus, but on Monday the governor was campaigning in Collin County. Photos and videos tweeted on the governor's personal and campaign pages show him among a large, unmasked crowd that had filled a reception room.

A video shared by Texans for Abbott showed the governor on the floor of the event, surrounded by unmasked supporters and posing for photographs.

A board member for the Republican Club at Heritage Ranch told NBC 5 it was notifying attendees about the governor's diagnosis and waiting on guidance from his office. The board member declined to comment further.

Party officials said 356 tickets were sold for the event.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls, a Republican from the Houston area, said Saturday on Twitter that he’d tested positive for COVID-19 and had moderate symptoms. Nehls said that he is fully vaccinated and hopes the symptoms pass soon.

“All Americans are free to make their own health decisions, but I strongly encourage getting vaccinated,” he wrote on Twitter Saturday. “It is scientifically proven to drastically reduce the risk of severe illness & death from COVID.”

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