Governor Abbott issued multiple press releases, an Open Letter to Texans, and held a press conference in Dallas on Friday - all without ever making public that he himself had been badly burned on Thursday, with severe injury to both legs and his feet. He learned about the shootings in Dallas before he left the hospital where he was being treated, so he kept the news of his own injuries quiet.
Governor Abbott returned to Texas and held a press conference in Dallas on Friday without letting anyone know about his condition.
Via Drudge: AP's Will Weissert on ABC13:
"Spokesman Matt Hirsch said Abbott was with his family in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Thursday when he was scalded in an accident involving hot water. He declined to provide further details.
"The governor was treated for several hours at nearby St. John's Medical Center. As he was being released, a top aide called from Texas to say a gunman had opened fire in downtown Dallas - an attack that killed five police officers and wounded seven others.
"His first words to us were, 'I've got to come back,'" Hirsch said.
"Abbott held a press conference in Dallas on Friday, but didn't disclose being burned. Hirsch said that his legs were wrapped at the time, but that wasn't evident since they were covered by his pants.
"The only hint anything was wrong, Hirsch said, was that the governor was wearing orthopedic shoes that his staff purchased that morning - rather than the dress shoes or boots he usually dons in public. "
The governor's accident was not reported until Sunday. In the interim, Governor Abbott focused on the tragic killings in Dallas, releasing the following "Open Letter To Texans" on Friday, following earlier statements and updates:
By Governor Greg Abbott
"Our hearts are heavy.
Last night in Dallas, five law enforcement officers were killed; seven officers and two civilians were wounded.
The coordinated ambush and deliberate, brutal executions were acts of cowardice – hiding behind innocents to target and savagely slaughter peace officers dedicated to preserving life and our freedoms.
The full force of the law must ensure all responsible are brought to justice and our communities are kept secure.
Justice will be served, but justice is small solace for the families left behind.
We mourn for the families of the fallen, for the law enforcement community and for our nation.
Respect for our law enforcement officers must be restored in our nation.
The badge every officer wears over his or her heart is a reminder of a sacred trust, a commitment, a contract with each of us.
For law enforcement officers to stand in front of us and all that threatens, we must stand behind them.
Every life matters.
With each innocent life lost, we lose more of our humanity.
It is time for us to unite as Texans, as Americans, to say no more.
No more will we tolerate disrespect for those who serve.
No more will we allow the evil of hate merchants to tear us apart.
Though anguish and sorrow may darken the days ahead, we will not be overcome by evil – we will overcome evil with good.
Texas is an exceptional state with exceptional people. We’ve faced tough challenges in the past, but we have come together to overcome those challenges.
In the coming days, there will be those who foment distrust and fan the flames of dissension.
To come together – that would be the greatest rebuke to those who seek to tear us apart.
There is far more that binds us together. We see that great strength in times of tragedy, in times of great need. Whether fire or flood or the acts of depraved individuals, Texans are the first to open their hearts, their homes, their wallets to offer charity and love.
I ask for your prayers – for our law enforcement officers, for the city of Dallas, for our state and for our nation.
May God comfort those who’ve lost a family member.
And may God heal the hurt in our communities.
I have faith in the goodness of Texas, of America. For in the end, evil always fails."