The hypocrisy of Governor Gregg Abbott

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Tests Positive For The Coronavirus : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has been fully vaccinated, has tested positive for the coronavirus, his office announced Tuesday. Abbott has opposed mask mandates, and his orders have drawn legal challenges.

The Republican governor is experiencing no symptoms and “has been testing daily, and today was the first positive test result,” his office said.

Abbott “will isolate in the Governor’s Mansion and continue to test daily. Governor Abbott is receiving Regeneron’s monoclonal antibody treatment,” the statement said.

So, he blocks mask mandates, vaccine passports, and encourages everyone to stay open. But for himself? HE gets tested every day, and gets frigging regeneron despite having no symptoms. Is he providing those perks to school teachers in the state? Does anyone not politically connected get regeneron early enough for it to do any good?

(It can help prevent the disease become serious. It has not been found to be helpful for those already sick enough to be hospitalized.)

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I don’t see why he’s constantly tested, or why he’s being treated if he’s asymptomatic. We need to bring back the word “sick.” By all reports, he’s not sick.

I disagree that blocking mask mandates or vaccine passports is exactly ‘hypocrisy’ here. I think this is more a case of elitism where someone rich & connected is getting better treatment than us plebes can get. (Not that I would want constant testing or early unnecessary treatment, but access to it if I wanted would be nice.)

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If you are willing to pay, there are home antigen tests you can buy off the shelf (EUA). Hmm, I think the brand I bought is Abbot. :slight_smile:

BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self Test (

At $24 for a pair of tests, I imagine most actuaries can afford it.

I don’t think you CAN get regeneron. My brother, who has an immune deficiency, looked into it when he thought he might have covid, and it’s not easy to get.

Abbott and Desantis are looking like idiots these days. Have they not figured out that the anti-mask and COVID is fake crowd are disproportionately loud relative to their numbers? Trump could have sailed into a second term had he taken COVID seriously. They are all losers IMO. Hopefully they all get torched next election.

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Sure, I could afford it, but testing daily makes that a ~$360/month habit I don’t need.

If I needed a negative test for travel or something, or if I had the beginnings of mild symptoms and wanted to know if I really had Covid vs. allergies vs. RSV vs. …, then this is the route I would go, but Abbott getting tested every day? That’s dumb, imo.

It seems very odd to me that he has been testing daily, since he is vaccinated. I wonder if he found out about a possible exposure and the testing was a short term thing. Otherwise it seems a bit over the top.


I haven’t been a big fan of Abbott through this. DeSantis, however, has been consulting with experts throughout. I know you don’t agree with the Great Barrington Declaration, but DeSantis has maybe been closest to it in implementation, trying to protect the most vulnerable (mostly seniors) while being least disruptive to the least vulnerable. Florida, despite being “God’s waiting room” is something like 40th in age-adjusted covid mortality among the states (1st being highest/worst). They have a relatively high vaccination rate among their senior population, where it’s most needed.

Is anyone actually listening to the small “Covid is fake” crowd? I don’t think DeSantis is.

Masks - especially in schools - are not a costless/harmless intervention, with at best a marginal benefit in terms of community spread. Many of our European counterparts are decidedly not masking kids in schools, so leaving the choice to parents instead of mandating it is not unreasonable.

This is it. But it is essentially related to their position on covid.

These are not philosopher kings using the best scientific and rational arguments to find a covid strategy.

Instead much republican leadership is making political hay with anti elite sentiment. Fauci becomes the smug elitist technocrat who is too unconnected from the needs of ordinary, “real”, hardworking americans to understand what they really need.

Then they bring in carefully curated “experts” who affirm what they already want to hear.

The hypocrisy is that the republican leadership is the smug elite. The fox news talking heads are the elite. And so covid is a fundamentally different risk to them.

It would be different if these politicians were talking about the hard trade offs between mask mandates or hurting business performance, and saving lives. But they aren’t. They are selling mugs that say “i couldn’t wear a mask and drink my beer!”

What’s the cost? I have two young kids who spent last year in masks, one of them at a new preschool. Neither had any issues with masks.


My understanding is that there is some concern that it is important for social development of children to be able to see faces, because they have to learn what they mean.

Masks can also make it harder for some children to be understood.

I assume the impact would differ by child. My guess is you have a pretty good sense of how much it impacts yours specifically.

My own sense is that for most kids masking is not a great thing, but not too detrimental.

I am for mask mandates in school. The good outweighs the bad. But there is a cost.

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I don’t agree though that one would be so easy to forecast how negatively it impacts a particular child. Many of these things are impacts that would be hard to see for years because it relates to social and academic development.

And the focus is on keeping down community spread amongst those not vaccinated, who have incredibly low mortality risk. I just don’t think that risk:reward tradeoff is a good one, and if it’s to protect older people who could be vaccinated then I think it’s immoral to have children bear the cost of that risk reduction strategy.

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There’s also issues of high risk kids who need the services of in person school but cannot be vaccinated, such as kids with Down Syndrome.

Edited to clarify: Some kids’ disabilities put them at a higher risk for complications of COVID (e.g. kids with Down syndrome have a higher incidence of kidney and heart problems). For a child in this situation who is too young to be vaccinated, but clearly needs in person learning to meet their unique educational needs, they’ve already had the short end of the tradeoff stick.

What is high risk though? Even a 10x greater risk than his peers might be something incredibly low risk relative to other risks we’re content facing everyday because they’re less novel. If it’s truly high risk then it might make the most sense to have remote options for those children specifically until they can be vaccinated.

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There are other threads for this, so don’t want to go into this too much. But there are other risks to children besides just mortality, and these risks are not nearly as well understood.

I think these risks are not being talked about by leadership who want no mask mandates because parents are tired of worrying about covid and don’t want to hear it. (I guess that does come back to this thread.)

There is no good estimate of long covid in children for example. Particularly not for the delta variant.

I think there is an stronger case against masks for the kids who are old enough to be vaccinated. Covid is not going away anytime soon. We don’t want them wearing masks forever.

This is not true of younger children. We will have a vaccine in several months.


The “covid is fake” crowd has now morphed into a full-blown anti-vax, anti-mask crowd. That group, people are listening to because that group is “volume up near 11” loud and lobbing threat after threat. It’s easier to give into the vocal minority for fear of some shitty election challenge or potentially being excluded from someone’s party than it is to listen to experts and follow science.

Hell, I look at discussions from where I grew up. The vocal miniority is screaming about the oppression of kids and the health dangers of having to wear a mask in school, while cases are exploding courtesy of outbreaks at 5 long-term care facilities (all of which didn’t vaccinate residents after prior outbreaks) and at least one factor, and school boards are asking well but people aren’t dying by the truckloads, how can we be sure this is really a danger? and crying about the tyranny of the governor forcing them to do stuff as they repeatedly go hat-in-hand to the state asking for money because they can’t raise it themselves.

We’re not a serious nation. It’s beautifully illustrated by how we’re “dealing” with this pandemic.


A decent guess is probably that long covid is proportionate to the risk of fatal covid though, so we’re working with pretty small numbers. And I’m pretty reluctant to accept development costs for children to mitigate a poorly defined risk.

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Because remote options have worked so well for special ed.

It’s all tradeoffs.


I’m not sure what qualifies as a decent guess?

Long covid seems to happen even in mild cases.

Children can have swelling of the heart and other serious symptoms several weeks after mild cases.

Some estimates of long covid in children come in at 10%-15% I think these are overstating things for various reasons, but i don’t really know, and neither does anybody else.

The risks are not negligible. They are not huge either. In my opinion they are much larger than the risks of masking a few more months until kids can be vaccinated.

But to talk about these mask risks, which are small, and not talk about these other risks, is dishonest on the part of political leaders and television pundits. They should know better.


So the trade off is universal K-12 masking, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, to keep kids in school. I’m pretty sure pediatricians have a decent handle (uniquely qualified even) on child development.