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Abbott Shuts Down Biden’s COVID Vaccine Mandate

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Gov. Abbott speaking at a podium. | Image by Aaron E. Martinez, American Statesman

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On October 11, Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order that stopped Texas employees and customers from being required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Opposed to President Biden’s national call for mandates, Abbott continues to be a voice against vaccine mandates in Texas.

In September, Biden ordered federal workers and healthcare employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face consequences. Biden then called upon the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to create a rule that any business with 100 or more employees must “require vaccination or weekly testing” of their employees.

On Monday, Abbott released a statement on the matter, saying, “The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but should remain voluntary and never forced.”

In the order, Abbott commented, “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[.]

The Executive Order GA 40 continued, “countless Texans fear losing their livelihoods because they object to receiving a COVID- 19 vaccination for reasons of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19; and whereas, […] the legislature has established its primary role over immunizations.”

Abbott previously only banned a mandate for any entity receiving state funds, but still allowed businesses to mandate the vaccine, as reported by NBC. He expanded that on Monday along with the executive order.

Some companies and organizations are continuing to mandate vaccines despite the order. The Dallas Morning News found that the Dallas Mavericks, associated with the NBA, still plan to “seek proof of vaccination” for their players. Facebook addressed the order, saying, “our company vaccine policy currently remains unchanged,” regarding their Texas employees. It is unclear if they will change their policy for their fans.

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