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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott – who has been opposed to vaccine mandates – is now asking for federal help with COVID-19 testing and treatment

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaking at the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in May 2018.

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

  • As of Sunday, Texas recorded over 10,000 new COVID-19 cases. 
  • Gov. Greg Abbott said he asked for federal support to testing sites on Friday. 
  • This comes after Abbott worked to block vaccine mandates. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has long been opposed to COVID-19 vaccine mandates as well as other preventive measures, said that his state has requested federal help for testing sites.

“Detecting COVID-19 and preventing COVID-related hospitalizations are critical to our fight against this virus,”  Abbott said.

In a press release on Friday, Abbott said the state requested “resources for federally-supported testing locations and medical personnel and additional federal allocations of monoclonal antibodies.” 

Abbott said he requested support for testing sites in Bexar, Cameron, Dallas, Harris, Hidalgo, and Tarrant counties because of their high positivity rates and hospitalization.

Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Tarrant counties are in the top 25 of all US counties for COVID-19 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus resource center.

According to state data, there were 10,892 new cases across Texas as of Sunday. As of December 29, the state had a 26.49% test positivity rate, and over 5,500 COVID-19 hospitalizations. 

Abbott also said the state requested additional medical personnel for urban areas as well as supplies of several monoclonal antibody treatments. 

Last week, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced the state had run out of sotrovimab, the monoclonal antibody effective against the Omicron variant. In a tweet, Abbott criticized President Joe Biden for not fulfilling a pledge to support states with their COVID-19 response and accused him of “hoarding the anti-body therapeutic drugs & denying states independent access to that medical treatment.”

In his press release, Abbot said: “While the Biden administration has cut supplies of monoclonal antibody treatments and testing kits when they are needed most, the State of Texas is urging the federal government to step up in this fight and provide the resources necessary to help protect Texans.” 

Back in October, Abbott issued an executive order that barred any Texas entity, including private businesses, from issuing COVID-19 vaccine mandates. That ban came after Biden announced plans to require private businesses with more than 100 employees to require COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing.

“In yet another instance of federal government overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’s continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott said in the order at the time. 

Additionally, on Friday, a federal judge ruled to halt Biden’s mask and vaccine mandate as conditions for funding for Head Start programs, KVUE reported. 

Following the ruling Abbot said’: “Texas just beat Biden again.”

Insider was unable to reach Abbott’s office at the time of publication. 

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