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VERIFY: Fact-checking Gov. Greg Abbott's claims for opening Texas, rescinding mask mandate

The VERIFY team researched three claims: more than 5.7 million COVID-19 vaccines given, ability to do more than 100K COVID-19 tests a day, fewer people hospitalized.

AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott said we are in a “far better position” today than his last order in October.

He feels confident that business can safely operate at 100% capacity.

He also rescinded the mask mandate.

Here are his claims we verified.

The claim

Abbott said “5.7 million [COVID-19] vaccine shots have already been given to Texans.”

Result:

Verified.

How we got there:

The Texas Department of State Health Services shows Texas received more than 8 million vaccines.

Of that, 5.7 million of those doses have been administered to about 3.7 million people.

For context, we looked at how Texas ranks among the other 49 states. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows Texas ranks second in number of vaccines given. However, if population is factored in, Texas ranks 48th in the country per capita.

The claim

“Early on, there were no COVID tests. Now, we have the ability to do well over 100,000 COVID tests per day,” Abbott said.

RESULT: 

Verified.

How we got there:

The DSHS COVID-19 dashboard shows more than 100,000 tests per day leading up to mid-February.

Those numbers dropped during the winter storms last month, but the “ability” is there.

The claim

“We also have multiple medical advancements to help Texans heal and, more importantly, help keep Texans out of hospitals,” Abbott said.

Result:

Verified.

How we got there:

The mask mandate, Executive Order No. GA-29, was issued on July 2, 2020.

According to the DSHS COVID-19 hospitalization count, there were 7,652 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the state when the governor issued the order. The numbers were on the rise.

The data shows 5,644 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide as of March 2. On average, the numbers are falling.

So, out of these three claims the governor used to support his reason for opening Texas and rescinding the mask mandate, the KVUE Verify team found his statements are true.

If you have something you want verified, let us know. Email us verify@kvue.com.

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