In a press release from his official campaign, senior adviser Allen Blakemore said Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19 last week; his symptoms appear mild and no one else in the household was infected. He continues to work remotely but should return to a public schedule by the end of the
week. Patrick is fully vaccinated and boosted.
During an August 2021, interview with Fox ‘News’ host Laura Ingraham, Patrick blamed African-Americans for Texas’ surge in cases.
“The Covid is spreading, particularly most of the numbers are with the unvaccinated, and the Democrats like to blame Republicans on that,” Patrick told Fox News host Laura Ingraham in an interview Thursday night. “Well, the biggest group in most states are African Americans who have not been vaccinated. Last time I checked, over 90 percent of them vote for Democrats in their major cities and major counties, so it’s up to the Democrats to get … as many people vaccinated.”
African Americans, who have had lower rates of vaccinations, make up about 13 percent of the state population and about 16 percent of cases, while whites and Hispanics, who make up more than 80 percent of the population, have accounted for about 70 percent of cases, according to statistics from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Before blaming African-Americans for Texas’ rise in cases, Patrick blamed undocumented immigrants instead of placing the real blame on his and Gov. Abbott’s failed policies that resulted in over 12,000 hospitalizations last summer.
Patrick’s infection came as the state was running out sotrovimab, the only monoclonal antibody treatment known to be effective against the omicron variant, and Abbott called on federal authorities to send more doses of the treatment to the state and open up new COVID-19 testing sites.
Texas is in the midst of an omicron surge that began last month. As of Wednesday, the state’s positivity rate was 26.5%. During the height of the pandemic, state officials had said a positivity rate of more than 10% was cause for concern.