© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks at the annual National Rifle Association (NRA) convention in Dallas, Texas, U.S., May 4, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

By Brad Brooks

(Reuters) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott, whose state is engulfed in a fourth COVID surge, said he tested negative for COVID-19 on Saturday after having a “brief and mild” bout with the infection this week.

In video posted on Twitter, the Republican governor, whose office announced four days ago that he had tested positive with the virus, credited the vaccination for his short illness and urged Texans to get vaccinated.

Abbott said he will continue to quarantine at the recommendation of doctors and will continue to work to open infusion centers for antibody therapy treatment across his state.

Abbott’s office on Tuesday said he had the virus but was not experiencing symptoms. He received a monoclonal antibody treatment, it said. It did not give any indication as to when the governor contracted the virus.

Abbott is one of a few Southern governors at the center of the masking debate and has sought to block local officials in the state from mandating the use of nose and mouth coverings to reduce infection by the virus.

The highly infectious Delta variant continues to rampage across Texas and other states with low levels of vaccinations.

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