Breaking News
More () »

Gov. Greg Abbott attended at-capacity event in McKinney 1 day before testing positive for COVID-19

Abbott was in McKinney Monday night at a what he called a "standing room only" event. Tuesday, his office said he tested positive for COVID.

DALLAS — This story will be updated as we receive new information. 

Gov. Greg Abbott tested positive for COVID-19 Tuesday, his director of communications confirmed. 

Abbott was in McKinney Monday night at a what the governor called a "standing room only" event that appeared to be connected to his upcoming re-election bid.

The capacity for the Republican Club at Heritage Ranch event was between 200-250 people. Most if not all of the attendees were maskless, videos show. Reports said there were also about 80 people on a waiting list. 

Communications Director Mark Miner said in an emailed statement Abbott had been tested for COVID daily, which is not unusual for high-ranking government officials. Tuesday was his first positive test, according to officials. Abbott currently isolating in the governor's mansion in Austin and will continue to be tested for COVID daily.

WFAA is reaching out to Collin County officials to see if they are quarantining.

According to his office, Abbott is getting something called Regeneron, a combination of two drugs that received emergency authorization last November. That’s what former President Trump got last year when he tested positive for COVID-19. 

Though Abbott is vaccinated, two individuals in the governor’s office just refuted a report that he got a booster shot, telling WFAA's Jason Whitely they were "not aware of that."

Amidst the diagnosis, Abbott appeared to have kept a regular calendar. On Tuesday, he posted pictures to his personal Twitter account about meeting Jimmie Vaughan—brother of the late Stevie Ray—although it is unclear when those photos were taken. 

Vaughan released a statement Tuesday on Twitter saying that he and his family have since tested negative for COVID.  

"We want to let everyone know, that despite the news today of Governor Abbott’s positive Covid diagnosis, Jimmie & family have tested negative and are doing fine. Thanks so very much to all who reached out with concern.

"We wish the Governor a speedy recovery."

The question now: does this diagnosis change anything politically for Abbott?

The governor has been against people being required to wear masks or get the vaccine. One Republican political consultant told WFAA he expects Abbott to point out how important the vaccine is, perhaps saying how the vaccine is preventing serious symptoms in him. But few expect this diagnosis – now, at least – to change anything politically for Abbott.

That consultant also said he wouldn’t be surprised if the governor is polling his supporters right now to gauge their feelings on this.

Read the full emailed statement from Abbott's office below.

"Governor Greg Abbott today tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The Governor has been testing daily, and today was the first positive test result. Governor Abbott is in constant communication with his staff, agency heads, and government officials to ensure that state government continues to operate smoothly and efficiently. The Governor will isolate in the Governor's Mansion and continue to test daily. Governor Abbott is receiving Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatment. 

"Governor Abbott is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in good health, and currently experiencing no symptoms. Everyone that the Governor has been in close contact with today has been notified. Texas First Lady Cecilia Abbott tested negative."

WFAA reporter Jason Whitely contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Download our free WFAA app to stay up-to-date on all news stories in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out