The Omicron variant continues to tear through the nation while Gov. Greg Abbott sits idly by as the number of daily new cases and positivity rates rise, in contrast to vaccination rates which appear to be on standby.
Here are the stats:
- On Dec. 29, Texas reported 11,928 new confirmed cases and 2,358 new probable cases for a total of 14,286. That is 5,929 more cases than the seven-day average a week ago.
- As of Dec. 28, the positivity rate was 13.4% out of 9.9 million tests. A rate over 10% puts states in the “red zone,” according to federal guidance.
- As of Dec. 28, 4,917 Texans are hospitalized for the coronavirus. That is 1,613 more patients compared with a week ago. COVID-19 patients currently occupy 8.2% of total hospital beds.
- As of Dec. 29, 74,401 people who tested positive for the virus have died in Texas.
- 56.4% of Texas’ population is fully vaccinated.
Here is Abbott’s response:
Gov. Greg Abbott is not budging on his hands-off approach. Last Tuesday while in an interview with Ware & Rima – a conservative radio talk show on KTSA-AM – Abbott said he was not reconsidering his ban on mask requirements, as reported by The Dallas Morning News.
“As far as government mandates are concerned, there will be none in Texas,” Abbott said. “We are moving forward with life as we know it.”
As other states, like California, reinstated mask mandates, Texas has Abbott advocating for a fourth special legislative session to outlaw vaccine mandates and prioritizing other issues, like border security.
Abbott’s stance was established in March when he ended the statewide mask mandate and began preaching “personal responsibility” and an outright rejection of any government mandate.