Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday that prohibits entities from imposing vaccine mandates on anyone. The order ostensibly refers to COVID-19 vaccines in particular.
According to a release issued by the governor’s office, the order states that “no entity in Texas” can enforce vaccination against a Texas resident.
In particular, no entity cannot compel vaccines to Texans who object to it. It doesn’t matter if the person refuses because of personal, medical, or religious reasons.
Executive Order Does Not Deny Effectiveness of Vaccines
Even as Abbott’s executive order bans vaccine mandates, it does not deny the vaccine’s effectiveness. In a statement, Abbot conceded that COVID-19 vaccines work.
However, he insists that vaccination should remain a personal choice. “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced,” he said.
The Republican governor said his executive order is necessary to prevent federal overreach. He specifically referred to President Joe Biden’s recent executive order requiring businesses with more than 100 employees to impose vaccine mandates. Otherwise, unvaccinated workers face a litany of weekly testing.
Biden Wants Companies To Impose Vaccine Mandates Now
Meanwhile, the US Department of Labor has yet to release details of the emergency rule. However, that did not stop Biden from calling on companies to act now. They should impose vaccine mandates now and not wait for the guidelines and requirements to go into effect.
Abbott himself tested positive for COVID-19 last August. However, this did not stop him from resisting mask mandates and requiring proof of vaccination.
Texas continues to experience a surge in COVID cases statewide. With hospitals already in full or near-full capacity, Abbott instead chose to invest in monoclonal antibody infusion centers.
Executive Order Banning Vaccine Mandates Nothing New For Texas
Prior to his executive order, Abbott issued earlier orders banning local governments and school districts from imposing mask mandates.
He also prohibited requiring vaccinations as conditions for entry for schools and businesses. For entities who continue to defy his order, they will face a $1,000 fine.
However, not all organizations welcomed the Governor’s moves. School districts in Dallas and San Antonio challenged the mask mandates order in court.
Meanwhile, the Texas legislature helped Abbott’s cause. They passed a bill last June that bans private companies from requiring proof of vaccination from customers before providing service.
Executive Order Asks State Senate to Codify Mandate In a Bill
As an extension of Monday’s executive order, Abbott plans to codify the ban. In particular, he sent a memo to the chief clerk of the Texas state House and the secretary of the State Senate.
The memo requests that the House and Senate codify the order into a bill for ratification. Abbott pledged to revoke his executive order once the GOP-led legislature passes the bill into law.
Texas got the idea from fellow Republican states that proactively, banned Biden’s vaccine mandates. For example, Montana passed a bill banning vaccination requirements by employers in the state. Meanwhile, Florida passed a law banning businesses from requiring proof of vaccination.
Watch the KHOU 11 video reporting that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issues an executive order that bans vaccine mandates by ‘all entities' in Texas:
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