Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick has contracted COVID-19. Patrick, who has been accused of politicizing the pandemic, chose to make the announcement through his political campaign and not his elected office.
Last summer Patrick came under intense fire for falsely blaming Black Texans for the Lone Star State's coronavirus surge, rather than the policies of the GOP, including Governor Greg Abbott.
Calling Black people the "biggest" unvaccinated group in Texas, Patrick insisted that most were Democrats, and tried to blame them for the coronavirus surge.
"It's up to the Democrats, just as it’s up to the Republicans, to try to get as many people vaccinated, but we respect the fact that if people don’t want the vaccination, we’re not gonna force it on them," Patrick said in August of 2021. "That’s their individual right. But in terms of criticizing the Republicans for this, we’re encouraging people to take it, but [Democrats are] doing nothing for the African American community that has a significant high number of unvaccinated people, so they need to address that."
In March of 2020, as the pandemic was in the very early stages, Patrick declared he was willing to die rather than shut down the economy – and insisted other grandparents were with him on that.
“No one reached out to me and said, ‘as a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’" said Patrick, who has six grandchildren. “And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in. That doesn’t make me noble or brave or anything like that. I just think there are lots of grandparents out there in this country like me."
He later defended his remarks by adding, "there are more important things than living. And that's saving this country for my children, and my grandchildren and saving this country for all of us. And I don't want to die, nobody wants to die, but man, we got to take some risks and get back in the game, and get this country back up and running."