AUSTIN (KXAN) — Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic candidate for Texas governor, is once again calling out Gov. Greg Abbott for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and lack of testing in recent weeks.
In a tweet on Tuesday, O’Rourke said:
“If you’re waiting hours in line for a Covid test you can thank Greg Abbott. 76,000 Texans dead, hospitals overwhelmed, highest positivity rate the state has ever seen, yet he refuses to lead and continues to tie the hands of local officials trying to keep more Texans from dying.”Beto O’Rourke
Texas Department of Health and Human Services reports 75,287 COVID-19 deaths in Texas as of Monday.
Throughout the pandemic, Abbott has pushed against masking mandates, has sued the federal government over President Biden’s employer vaccine requirements, and has refused to enact closures to quell COVID-19 spread.
The governor has garnered national headlines for a continued ban on mask mandates in Texas schools, especially as cases rose and children remained ineligible for vaccinations.
Abbott vs. O’Rourke
O’Rourke, who narrowly lost the 2018 Texas senatorial race, has never shied away from an Abbott slam.
Since O’Rourke’s entry into the race, Abbott has honed in on the former representative’s support for policing reform, which Abbott has labeled as “defunding the police.” O’Rourke has previously expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement and for transitioning money toward what he says will be more effective law enforcement initiatives.
Abbott has compared O’Rourke’s positions to President Joe Biden’s, saying in November: “Beto O’Rourke has demonstrated he has more in common with President Biden than he does with Texans…. The last thing Texans need is President Biden’s radical liberal agenda coming to Texas under the guise of Beto O’Rourke. The contrast for the direction of Texas couldn’t be clearer.”
The governor has touted Texas’ economy and increased patrols and arrests at the Texas-Mexico border as among his recent achievements.
COVID-19 in Texas
As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 627,742 active cases in the state, according to the Texas COVID-19 dashboard. The highest concentration of infections is in Harris County, followed by Dallas and Bexar counties.
There were 41,968 new cases reported Monday and 46,795 new cases on Tuesday.