Texas governor asks federal government for COVID-19 resources in Bexar County as infections soar

Abbott seeks medical personnel, antibody treatments from federal government

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott attends a security briefing at the Weslaco Department of Public Safety DPS Headquarters on Wednesday, June 30, 2021 in Weslaco, Texas. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via AP, Pool) (Jabin Botsford, The Washington Post)

SAN ANTONIO – Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday formally requested more federal support in Bexar County and other major metropolitan areas as COVID-19 cases soar throughout the state.

Abbott requested support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, asking for more medical personnel and a larger monoclonal antibody allocation. He also asked for federally-funded testing sites in Bexar, Cameron, Dallas, Harris, Hidalgo and Tarrant counties as people struggle to find at-home tests while cases go up.

“Detecting COVID-19 and preventing COVID-related hospitalizations are critical to our fight against this virus,” Abbott said. “While the Biden administration has cut supplies of monoclonal antibody treatments and testing kits when they are needed most, the State of Texas is urging the federal government to step up in this fight and provide the resources necessary to help protect Texans. Testing sites, additional medical staff, and continued shipments of therapeutics from the federal government will help us continue to save lives and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

As the omicron variant spreads, monoclonal antibody centers saw their supplies “exhausted” in major Texas cities. Only one monoclonal treatment, sotrovimab, has proven effective against the variant.

Though Abbott has hammered the Biden administration on its coronavirus policies, he has banned local cities and counties from implementing their own mitigation strategies, including vaccine and mask mandates that could help curb infections.

Metro Health’s COVID-19 website reported 733 new COVID-19 cases Thursday, bringing the total number of new cases to 2,942 so far this week. That includes 957 new cases Monday, 828 on Tuesday, and 424 on Wednesday.

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About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.