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Texas Governor Issues Executive Order Banning Vaccine Mandates

Texas Governor Issues Executive Order Banning Vaccine Mandates

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has banned coronavirus vaccine mandates in the state in a new executive order issued Monday. 

Under the order, Texas now prohibits governmental entities — including private businesses — from requiring individuals, employees or consumers to receive a coronavirus vaccine.  

Abbott wrote that his order is a direct response to President Joe Biden‘s executive order issued last month, which requires all companies with workforces of over 100 to ensure that their employees are vaccinated against COVID-19, or undergo weekly testing if they do not receive the vaccine. 

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott
| Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty

“In yet another instance of federal 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 wrote in his executive order. 

The republican lawmaker noted that “COVID-19 vaccines are strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one, but must always be voluntary for Texans.”

He echoed a similar sentiment in a statement released on his website Monday, which read, “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced.” 

Abbott recently tested positive for COVID-19, announcing his results in late August. A spokesperson for the governor said at the time that Abbott had experienced a breakthrough infection after being “fully vaccinated” against the virus.  

The governor has attracted national attention for his handling of the pandemic over the past year-and-a-half. In July, he issued an executive order banning the government from requiring entities to mandate face masks, including in public school districts.

Earlier this year, he announced the full re-opening of his state in early March, when most Americans had not received the COVID-19 vaccine and Texas was seeing high numbers of deaths and hospitalizations caused by the virus. 

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