GOV. GREG ABBOTT (R-TX): Our border patrol agents are being put in harm's way in several ways.
ABBOTT: But Maria, there's another way in which our border patrol agents are being put in harm's way and that is the Biden administration was not providing COVID vaccines for the border patrol in the Rio Grande valley region. Because of my public outcry about that when I was down on the border, now, finally, the Biden administration has changed gears and they are doing exactly what I called for and that is providing the border patrol with the vaccine they needed because they are exposed to everybody coming across the border and they need to be vaccinated, finally, the Biden administration is stepping up and providing those vaccines.
MARIA BARTIROMO (ANCHOR): So this drug war, the cartels, this is an incredibly dangerous situation happening right at the border. We have expectations, that we're going to talk with Senator [John] Cornyn [R-TX] in the next block, about how much they are charging to get people across the border. He says it's from all countries, it's from all over the world, and depending on where you come from, it's a different price. One of the reasons is the COVID situation as you mentioned. There is a story from the Washington Times that migrants are flooding across the border with as much as 10 times the covid-19 rate as Americans. Your reaction.
ABBOTT: I'm sorry, 10 times what?
BARTIROMO: Ten times the COVID rate as Americans. In other words, it's ten times worse, the COVID coming across the border.
ABBOTT: So, Maria, I have not seen any data about what the COVID rate is. I do know this fact, that came from the border patrol officers that I spoke with, and that is that there are migrants coming across the border who do have COVID-19. So you raise a point that I'm expecting answers from the Biden administration immediately this week. We need the total number of migrants who have been apprehended at the border who have tested positive for covid-19. The state of Texas is responsible for fully reporting out anybody in our state who has covid-19. The Biden administration has refused and failed to give to our state the total number of migrants who have covid-19. We expect that data and we expect the Biden administration to step up and assist the state of Texas in being able to respond to that imported challenge, imported only because of the change in policies by the Biden administration.
BARTIROMO: Have you spoken with President Biden? Has he called you?
ABBOTT: I personally have not spoken with president Biden about this. The last time I talked to him was when he was in Houston, Texas, a couple weeks ago. But our office has been in constant communication with their office, with one exception. And that is, we got surprise news at 9:30 last night, so 12 hours ago, we got surprise news from the federal HHS that they're going to be sending some of these migrants over to a holding facility in Midland, which if they're going to be working with us, the governor of the state of Texas has to know exactly what they're doing. How many people are they bringing in here? Where are those people going? Where are they going after that? What type of COVID protocols are they using? What will they do to mitigate the spread of COID-19 concerning all the people they're bringing into the state of Texas? Maria there are so many questions that are completely unanswered by the Biden administration and the danger that they are putting onto the backs of our fellow Texans.