Speed Reads


Texas Gov. Greg Abbott attended crowded GOP event before testing positive for COVID

The night before Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) tested positive for COVID-19, he attended a standing room only event held by the Republican Club of Heritage Ranch. 

Abbott, who is running for re-election in 2022, and his campaign shared photos and videos of the indoor gathering, showing a mostly maskless and older crowd packed into a room. Abbott also did not wear a mask, and videos show him moving from person to person, stopping to chat and take photos, The Associated Press reports. AP called Republican Club of Heritage Ranch President Jack DeSimone for comment, but he responded he didn't like "to have conversations like this."

After announcing that Abbott tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, his spokesman, Mark Miner, said "everyone that the governor has been in close contact with today has been notified." His infection comes as Texas tries to grapple with a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, with facilities in Houston running out of room in intensive care units and the state requesting five morgue trailers from the federal government. Despite a surge in COVID-19 cases, Abbott has barred mask mandates in Texas, and state Rep. Rafael Anchia (D) said he is "praying this sign will cause him to rescind the order stopping schools from requiring masks."