The claim: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that he purposefully endangered Texans
On March 2, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Texas would end its mask mandate and reopen businesses to full capacity. This decision sparked criticism from individuals who thought the measure was premature and dangerous.
“Unfortunately after the storm, some Texans were left alive. I have taken swift action to correct that,” reads a fake tweet that appears to come from Abbott's account.
While the exact death count from the mid-February winter storm and related power outages is still unknown, medical examiners have said the storm left at least 86 people dead.
There is no evidence Abbott tweeted that he would purposely endanger Texans spared by the storm.
The Facebook user who posted the image told USA TODAY he posted it satirically after seeing it on Reddit.
Abbott's office confirms the tweet is fake
Madi Biedermann, a spokesperson from Abbott’s office, confirmed in an email to USA TODAY that the tweet was fake.
USA TODAY could find no record of such a tweet from Abbott’s Twitter account.
Another Twitter user tweeted the same phrase on March 2 in response to Abbott’s reopening announcement. That tweet garnered 3,500 retweets and 33,800 likes.
The image was likely altered to claim that Abbott tweeted it himself.
Our rating: Satire
An image that appears to show Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confessing that he purposely endangered Texans spared by the February storm is SATIRE. The poster confirmed he posted the image as a joke. Abbott’s office said the tweet is fake and there is no record of the tweet on his profile.
Our fact-check sources:
Austin American-Statesman, Feb. 25, "How did at least 86 people die in Austin area during Texas freeze? It remains a mystery"
USA TODAY, March 7, email with Madi Biedermann, Office of the Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Twitter, advanced search, accessed March 8, "Unfortunately after the storm (from:GregAbbott_TX)"
Senator Bribeluncheon, March 2, tweet
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Gov. Gregg Abbott tweet on reopening Texas is fake