Greg Abbott's
COVID-19 Record

A timeline of Abbott's failed leadership during the most deadly crisis in Texas history.

Jan. 20, 2020

First COVID-19 case in U.S.

First patient in the US was given a diagnosis of infection with COVID-19 by the state of Washington and CDC.

Jan. 27, 2020

Abbott holds first public briefing on coronavirus.

Says, "The Lone Star State will remain vigilant to protect the health and safety of all Texans."

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Abbott claims Texas is in "good shape."

Feb. 27, 2020

“Texans are going to be very pleased to learn the extent of which we’ve already been working to deal with the coronavirus,” Abbott said. “This is something we’ve been working on for well over a month. We’re getting collaboration with CDC, federal officials, local officials making sure Texas is very well prepared.”

First case of COVID-19 is reported in Texas.

Mar. 4, 2020

Texas Department of State Health Services reported the first positive test result for COVID-19 in Texas from a resident of Fort Bend County.

COVID-19 is declared a global pandemic.

Mar. 11, 2020

Harris County Judge recognizes lack of testing capability.

Mar. 11, 2020

As the number of COVID-19 cases increased, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo painted a concerning picture about the county's ability to test for the virus.

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Mar. 14, 2020

First COVID-19 related death is recorded in Texas.

The first death in Texas from COVID-19 was a man in Matagorda County.

Abbott refuses to issue statewide public safety orders. Local leaders call out lack of statewide leadership.

Mar. 17, 2020

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins pointed out that a patchwork of rules among counties was not helping to limit the spread. “We need the state to come in and lay out some parameters … We have community spread and we have to act, but we need our neighbors alongside us. And so we need the governor to lead on that," said Jenkins.

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Mar. 17, 2020

Study shows Texas almost dead last in preparedness.

A report from the Kinder Institute at Rice University showed Texas was found to be one of the least vigilant states in the nation (49th) in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

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Mar. 24, 2020

Governor announces a "Supply Chain Strike Force."

Governor promises that Texas will "soon" be receiving more than one millions masks per week.

Apr. 1, 2020

Abbott is forced to clarify his order after refusing to say "stay at home."

After delaying for weeks to appease the right wing fringe, Abbott finally follows the lead of local elected officials like Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

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Apr. 3, 2020

Abbott claims Texas will have hospital capacity for "months."

The State of Texas is ahead of the curve to meet our hospital capacity needs in the coming weeks and months," said Governor Abbott.

Apr. 3, 2020

Report shows Texas doctors don't have enough PPE.

Family care physicians say they don’t have enough personal protective equipment, so they’re seeking other solutions.

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Apr. 8, 2020

State witholds information about virus spread in nursing homes.

While the virus was rapidly spreading in nursing homes, Texas refused to share data collected from those facilities about numbers who had fallen ill.

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Apr. 11, 2020

Report shows Texas second-worst in the nation for testing per capita.

A Houston Chronicle analysis of testing data showed that Texas has the second-worst rate of testing per capita in the nation, with only 332 tests conducted for every 100,000 people. Only Kansas ranked lower, at 327 per 100,000 people.

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Apr. 18, 2020

Abbott announces a "Strike Force" full of political donors to oversee the pandemic response.

Abbott also chooses Mike Toomey, a notorious pay-to-play lobbyist to be its Chief Operating Officer. It is unclear what, if any, affect the strike force had on Abbott's response.

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Apr. 21, 2020

Abbott claims cure for COVID-19 by September.

Abbott said medicine will be avilable by the start of the school year that "will basically cure people who have COVID-19." No evidence supported that claim.

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Apr. 27, 2020

Abbott loosens restrictions as infections increase.

Abbott contradicts his own saftey guidelines after pressure from right wing extremists. In the heat of a dramatic uptick in cases, Abbott announced businesses could start to reopen, ignoring federal guidance about reopening criteria.

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May 5, 2020

Abbott ignores his own guidelines and relaxes public safety orders.

Abbott announced further reopening of businesses, including barber shops and bowling alleys. In doing so less than a week after previous reopening plans, Abbott ignored his earlier warnings that Texas should wait 2 weeks after first reopenings to see if COVID cases increased.

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May 7, 2020

Abbott visits Trump in D.C.

Abbott met with Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., where the president praised Abbott for Texas' COVID-19 response.

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May 7, 2020

Abbott attacks local leaders for enforcing his own mask orders.

During a national television interview, Abbott attacked elected officials who were enforcing Abbott's executive order that included penalties for Texans who violated the order.

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May 20, 2020

Lawmakers question Abbott over unilaterally awarding a $295 million government contract.

Abbott approved contract with MTX Group to manage the state's contact tracing efforts. Abbott would later be sued by his own party who say the approval process lacked transparency and was unconstitutional. It remains unclear if the contact tracing program ever worked correctly or how much money was wasted.

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Aug. 11, 2020

Reports surface that Abbott has not properly distributed all of the federal CARES Act funding.

Intestigations show that Abbott had been withholding billions of dollars in federal meant primarily for rural counties.

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Aug. 17, 2020

Texas surpasses 10,000 COVID-19 deaths.

Public health experts say the death toll is very likely an undercount.

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Sept. 27, 2020

Houston Chronicle releases in-depth report detailing failures by Abbott administration.

Mismanagement and missed opportunities are outlined nearly every step of the way by the federal government and Abbott's administration.

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Oct. 9, 2020

The public's ratings of Abbott's response to COVID-19 plummet.

Since the start of the pandemic approval of Abbott's response dropped 12 percentage points and disapproval rose by 17 points. More Texans disapprove of Abbott's actions than approve.

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Nov. 14, 2020

Two months without a public press conference on COVID-19.

Abbott goes two months without formally addressing Texans on the status of the virus or provide updates on his repsonse.

Nov. 15, 2020

Inmates work in county morgue as COVID-19 deaths overwhelm El Paso

The morgue in El Paso was so overwhelmed by the number of people dying that incarcerated Texans from the county’s detention facility wre brought in to assist with the overflow of bodies awaiting autopsy.

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Nov. 17, 2020

Virus in Texas hits record number of cases as Abbott rejects stronger measures to curb spread

Governors in other states began implementing stronger safety measures to curb spikes but Abbott said the state would not change course.

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Nov. 18, 2020

Abbott claims Texans have entered the "ninth inning of our challenge with COVID"

During a TV appearance, Abbott acknowledged the state was seeing a virus spike but said he would only rely on hospitalization rates, a lagging indicator, to guide his decision-making.

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Dec. 1, 2020

Abbott draws criticism for failing to distribute $3 billion in federal CARES Act funding

Texas is required to expend the federal coronavirus relief funds before the end of the year. The Governor's office refused to clearly outline their plan to successfuly deliver billions in funding to communities like rural counties that had requested funds months ago.

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Jan. 8, 2021

Abbott's vaccine administration program begins with confusion and delays

Providers said the state gave little instruction or information on when allotments will arrive, how immunization operations should be organized and what principles ought to be followed in prioritizing within groups.

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