Beto O’Rourke Diagnosed With Bacterial Infection While Campaigning for Midterms

Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke said on Sunday that he’s been diagnosed with a bacterial infection in the midst of his campaign ahead of the midterm elections on Nov. 8.

O’Rourke, 49, confirmed the news in a statement on Twitter and said he planned to take a break from the campaign trail to recover.

“After feeling ill on Friday, I went to Methodist Hospital in San Antonio where I was diagnosed with a bacterial infection,” he wrote, while praising the “extraordinary team” at the hospital for his “excellent care and attention.”

“While my symptoms have improved, I will be resting at home in El Paso in accordance with the doctor’s recommendations,” he wrote.

The Democratic nominee for governor did not state when he would return to the campaign trail, which started in July. The news of O’Rourke’s illness came after he canceled a number of events last week, including in Lockhart, central Texas.

“I am sorry to have had to postpone events because of this, but promise to be back on the road with you as soon as I am able,” O’Rourke added.

O’Rourke was set to make appearances at Corpus Christi, Three Rivers, and Goliad this weekend for his 49-day “A Drive for Texas” campaign event but will reschedule those appearances after falling ill, his campaign staff told 3NEWS.

O’Rourke, who was born Robert Francis O’Rourke, previously ran for a Texas Senate seat but narrowly lost to incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

Tight Race

He is challenging incumbent Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, in the November election in what is expected to be a close race.

Abbott was leading O’Rourke by seven points in a recent Dallas Morning News/University of Texas at Tyler poll (pdf).

O’Rourke has joked that he is “watching my swearing” at recent campaign stops after calling a heckler an expletive earlier in August. The incident came after the individual, who was in the audience at a campaign stop in Mineral Wells on Aug. 10, laughed when O’Rourke described AR-15s as weapons of war in reference to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24.

O’Rourke has advocated for universal background checks, safe storage laws, and red flag laws and has taken aim at Abbott during his campaign, accusing him of doing little to address gun violence.

Abbott, on the other hand, has called on the Biden administration to address mental health issues across the United States which he believes play a vital role in mass shootings. Following the Uvalde shooting, he also issued a disaster declaration to fast-track state and local resources for the community, and ordered the Texas School Safety Center to conduct comprehensive school safety reviews across all public schools to ensure stringent safety procedures were in place ahead of the new school year.

His campaign has largely focused on the issue of immigration and the crisis at the Texas–Mexico border, which he has blamed on the Biden administration’s “open border policies” that are “overwhelming Texas communities.”


Katabella Roberts is a news writer for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States, world, and business news.


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