Greg Abbott Faces New Demands for School Mask Mandate After Pushing Vaccine

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was urged to allow mask mandates in schools after saying his coronavirus infection was "brief and mild" because he is vaccinated.

Abbott has refused calls to reimpose coronavirus restrictions, including mask mandates, as cases driven by the highly contagious Delta variant continue to soar across the state.

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday rejected the Republican governor's ban on mask mandates, allowing schools to continue requiring masks in classrooms while the legal battle continues.

Abbott has been isolating in the governor's mansion in Austin since testing positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, a day after he didn't wear a mask while speaking to a crowded room of GOP supporters.

I am now testing negative for Covid.

I am told that my infection was brief & mild because of the vaccination I received.

I will continue to quarantine as recommended by doctors.

And, I will keep working on issues affecting Texas.

God bless you all.
And God bless Texas.

— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 21, 2021

In a video posted on Twitter on Saturday, Abbott said he is now testing negative for COVID-19, but would continue to quarantine on the advice of doctors.

He urged people to consider getting vaccinated against COVID-19 but made no mention of wearing masks to limit the spread of the virus.

"I am told that my infection was brief and mild because of the vaccination that I received, so I encourage others who have not received the vaccination to consider getting one," he said.

Earlier this week, Abbott's spokesman Mark Miner said the governor had received a monoclonal antibody treatment.

"I will continue to quarantine as recommended by doctors," Abbott added in the video. "During that time however, I will keep working on issues that are important to the state of Texas including opening infusion centers for antibody therapy treatment across the entire state of Texas."

Mandate masks in schools, you complete and absolute monster.

— Greg Rikaart (@gregrikaart) August 21, 2021

Twitter users pointed out that children under 12 are not eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Texas and urged the governor to allow mask mandates in schools.

"I teach 7th graders," tweeted Dorothy Hagan. "Some of my masked kids are afraid of my unmasked kids. We had very few cases in Texas schools last year because everyone was masked up. Why would you risk our babies lives to make a political point? Why??? Have you no heart?"

Another Twitter user replied: "Kids under 12 can't be vaccinated. Have 2 kids < 12 in my home. The adults in my home are vaccinated. Please allow schools to mandate masks."

Another wrote: "Children under 12 do not qualify for the vaccination. The best way to protect them at school from COVID is for there to be mask mandates which you won't allow. Shame on you."

And actor Greg Rickaart wrote: "Mandate masks in schools, you complete and absolute monster."

Abbott's office has been contacted for comment.

Greg Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a border security briefing with sheriffs from border communities at the Texas State Capitol on July 10 in Austin, Texas. Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images