Texas surpasses 4 million COVID-19 cases threshold

Texas on Sunday exceeded 4 million COVID-19 cases, trailing only behind California for most total coronavirus cases in the U.S. 

Texas leads the country in daily case and hospitalization averages despite those numbers declining in the past two weeks. It is second only to Florida in daily death averages, according to data from The New York Times.

Last week, Texas Gov. Greg AbbottGreg AbbottSunday shows preview: Multiple states detect cases of the omicron variant Hillicon Valley —TSA to strengthen rail sector cybersecurity When politics trump workers' health, we know who gets burned MORE (R) boasted about declining hospitalization rates on Twitter. 

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About 60 percent of Texans have received at least one dose of vaccine and 51 percent are fully vaccinated, according to The New York Times. 

In November, Texas was the first state to surpass 1 million coronavirus cases. By January, it had reached 2 million total cases, and it had seen 3 million cases by July, according to The Dallas Morning News.

As the highly contagious delta variant rages through the U.S., the unvaccinated remain particularly at risk.

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Last week, The Texas Tribune reported that of the almost 19,000 COVID-19 deaths in Texas since early February, just over 115 of those fatalities were fully vaccinated people, per data from the state health department. Approximately 96 percent of cases in Texas can be attributed to the delta variant, state health officials told the Tribune.

"Throughout the entire pandemic, the State of Texas has worked diligently with state and local partners to provide the resources needed to keep Texans safe, including setting up therapeutic infusion centers and providing surge staffing and medical equipment to hospitals and nursing homes," Gov. Abbott's Press Secretary Renae Eze said in an emailed statement to The Hill. "With our hospitalizations, cases, and positivity rate at the lowest points in weeks, Texas continues trending in the right direction to contain COVID and save lives.”

Texas recently garnered attention for its COVID-19-qrelated policies after the Biden administration announced a civil rights investigation into Abbott's executive order prohibiting school mask mandates to determine if "students with disabilities who are at heightened risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are prevented from safely returning to in-person education" because of the lack of masking.

This story was updated at 4:17 p.m.