- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order banning entities from requiring COVID-19 vaccines.
- Abbott’s order would also apply to private businesses.
- Abbott is calling on the state legislature to pass a similar law.
In an executive order on Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banned any entity, including private businesses, from issuing COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
“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,” Abbott said in the order.
Abbott has also called on the Texas legislature to also pass a law banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
In a statement, Abbott, who has been vaccinated, said the vaccines are safe and encouraged those who are eligible to get them but said they should be voluntary.
The Texas Tribune reported that a previous executive order had already banned government agencies, cities, counties, and school districts from imposing COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
The Associated Press reported that Monday’s executive order comes as President Joe Biden’s administration is expected to issue rules requiring businesses with over 100 employees to require COVID-19 vaccination or weekly testing.
“In yet another instance of federal government overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’s continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster,” Abbott said in the order.
Several Texas-based companies, including major airlines like American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, have said they’d abide by Biden’s mandate, CBS News reported.
The executive order comes after a string of anti-mask, anti-vaccine measures imposed by Abbott throughout the pandemic. He has previously banned masks and the requirement of documentation to show someone had been vaccinated.
State data shows that close to 63% of the eligible population is fully vaccinated, compared to 66% across the country. According to The New York Times database, as of Monday, the state had 7,571 daily average cases, and 251 daily average deaths.
According to Becker’s Hospital Review, Texas is in the top 10 states with the highest death rates per 100,000 people.