What You Need To Know:
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order Monday stopping the requirement of Covid-19 vaccines by any “entity” in the state, including private companies, for their employees or consumers.
Executive Order GA-40 reads:
“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 Abbott executive order follows President Biden’s sweeping vaccine mandates issued last month, requiring all employers with 100 employees or more to either mandate a vaccine or weekly testing.
In the body of the Republican Governor’s order, he refers to the Biden mandates as “federal overreach” and “bullying” businesses to implement vaccine mandates. However, constitutional law experts say this will only lead to confusion for all businesses, especially companies that cross state lines, like airlines. But when it comes to federal versus state orders, federal trumps state. And this will lead to additional future courtroom battles.
Why You Need to Know:
Two things: Governor Abbott is gearing up for a re-election campaign, starting with a March 2022 primary. Texas Republicans have called out Abbott’s response to the pandemic along with calling out the Governor’s overall commitment to conservative causes. These executive mandate orders, pushing back against the Biden administration, along with attempts to placate Donald Trump by calling into question the outcome of the 2020 presidential vote in Texas, are Abbott’s attempts to amp up his conservative credentials.
Secondly, the irony of Abbott’s latest executive order, giving Texans the freedom to defy the vaccine and mask mandates, is not lost on opponents to the most restrictive abortion law in the nation. As a result of SB-8, women all over Texas are now denied control over their bodies, even hounded by bounty hunters. With the Abbott executive order, millions of Texans are given free clearance to pass on a virus by not vaccinating or wearing a mask, a virus that very well could lead to illness or death.