Not many governors are prepared to take on President Joe Biden and his COVID-19 vaccine mandates, but Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) made it clear this week that he’s ready to fight for the freedoms afforded to the citizens of his state.
According to the Washington Examiner, Abbott on Monday signed an executive order that outright bans businesses and institutions from forcing employees to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination, making clear in his order that Texans have a right to refuse the vaccine if they so choose.
In the executive order, Abbott reiterated that while the state encourages residents to get vaccinated against the virus, “it must always be voluntary for Texans.”
“No entity in Texas”
Abbott’s order dialed in on the right for Texans to opt-out of such mandates, especially for those who claim medical or religious exemptions, and notably, those who have already had the virus and feel as though that they have the natural immunity to remain safe.
That’s an important difference in the Texas governor’s order, as most mandates, including Biden’s federal mandate, allow for religious and medical exemptions, but most do not allow consideration of prior exposure to the virus as a legitimate exemption reason.
“No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19,” the EO stated.
“I hereby suspend all relevant statutes to the extent necessary to enforce this prohibition,” Abbot’s order declared.
The Republican governor cited additional reasons as to why he signed the order, including his belief that Biden’s mandate, which he labeled “federal overreach,” is detrimental to the economic recovery of the state.
White House attacks
Gov. Abbott’s EO, along with a similar order issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), clearly has the White House up in arms, as according to The Hill, the Biden administration on Tuesday accused the governors of “putting politics ahead of public health.”
“Governor Abbott’s executive order banning mandates and, I would also note, the announcement by Gov. DeSantis this morning essentially banning the implementation of mandates, fit a familiar pattern that we’ve seen of putting politics ahead of public health,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Psaki went on to argue that vaccine mandates “save lives,” and slammed the governors for allowing residents of their respective states the freedom to choose whether or not to receive a vaccination.
Biden’s private sector vaccine mandate, however, doesn’t appear to be very popular with most of the country, as it’s being contested across the United States on a daily basis.