Giuliani Outbreak raises TX Lege questions

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In unfortunate news no one could have possibly seen coming, outgoing President Donald Trump’s resident provocateur and attorney Rudy Giuliani was admitted to Georgetown University hospital this weekend after testing positive with COVID-19.

At the age of 76, the one-time Mayor of New York City who saw his political fortunes fizzle in a failed 2008 Presidential bid, is in the largest at-risk group for COVID-19 infection and its complications. 

The diagnosis comes after a whirlwind week that saw Giuliani globetrot across the country in his effort to convince state legislators to overturn their state’s results in the 2020 election. Giuliani appeared, maskless, in legislative chambers in Georgia, Michigan and Arizona, all states carried by President-elect Joe Biden, in a series of moves that medical experts fear could have infected hundreds.

With the Texas Legislature set to convene in early January, the Giuliani Outbreak is certain to raise concerns among legislators and staff who are expected to meet in person during the upcoming session. The Texas Tribune reported this weekend that Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and his team have mulled over the idea of requiring any members of the public who wish to testify before committees to pass a COVID-19 test 24 hours before appearing, likely setting off a frenzied debate among his own base.

Texas Republicans have been particularly resistant to COVID mitigation efforts, with GOP luminaries like state chairman Allen West and Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller joining protests in front of the Governor’s Mansion objecting to his COVID-19 orders over the summer, and large swaths of the GOP base panning Abbott for the orders.

This prompted Abbott to reverse course this fall, publicly stating that he won’t order additional lockdowns or business restrictions, even as the pandemic has worsened inside the Lone Star State’s borders.

Texas reported 8,436 new infections for December 6th, and 92 new fatalities. 23,187 Texans have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began to roil the state, with over 1.3 million Texans having been infected by the virus according to data monitored by the New York Times.

Photo: Rey Del Rio/Getty Images

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