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“His symptoms were mild, and no one else in the household was infected,” Patrick senior adviser Allen Blakemore said in a statement Monday, noting that the lieutenant governor has since tested negative. “He continues working from home and will return to a public schedule by the end of the week.”
Blakemore did not say when Patrick received the positive test result, breaking from the approach of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who in August disclosed his positive COVID-19 result on the same day and notified all of his close contacts.
Patrick, who is currently campaigning for reelection, has been fully vaccinated and received his booster shot but has encouraged others “to do their own research” on the vaccine. He has been a fierce critic of federal vaccine mandates, arguing they strip citizens of their rights.
“The federal government does not have the ability to strip individuals of their choice to get a vaccine or not,” Patrick said of President Biden’s vaccine mandate last year. “If the President thinks his patience is wearing thin, he is clearly underestimating the lack of patience from Texans whose rights he is infringing.”
Patrick’s positive test comes as COVID-19 cases have been rising in Texas over the past two weeks, moving from 5,800 new cases per day on Dec. 18 to over 15,900 on Jan. 1.