As COVID Rules Return, TX Leaders Urge Ban

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FFP2 mask | Image by Audio und werbung/Shutterstock

As states and institutions across the country have begun reintroducing COVID-19 rules and vaccine mandates, some Texas leaders are demanding the state ban such requirements.

With students starting to return to universities, several of those schools have reinstated various levels of COVID-related requirements. Morris Brown College in Georgia ordered students and employees to wear masks, and Rutgers University said it would kick students out if they refused vaccination.

Similarly, major Hollywood movie studio Lionsgate demanded that employees return to masking and daily COVID screenings. Medical doctors have also begun urging people to start wearing masks again.

Such requirements are not limited to other states, however. Michelle Evans, the founder of Texans for Vaccine Choice, pointed out, “This still happens in Texas,” and urged, “We need medical liberty on the next special session call in October to protect All Texans from mandates.”

For example, Southwestern University in Georgetown still says, “COVID-19 vaccinations are required for all students prior to their arrival on campus. … While not required, we do also strongly encourage all students to get booster shots.”

Rep. Brian Harrison (R-Midlothian) suggested Evans was correct that “Texas still has COVID mandates,” adding that legislation to ban them was blocked during the most recent session.

Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) responded to Harrison, saying, “I personally know people in healthcare who were fired for not taking a COVID shot.”

“We have a shortage of people available to care for patients,” she added. “Ending COVID shot mandates in TX makes perfect sense – hope you guys get this done!”

Similarly, former Congresswoman and current candidate Mayra Flores suggested, “Every GOP led state should immediately ban lockdowns and vaccine mandates. Big government should not dictate or [in]fringe on our medical freedoms and liberties.”

The Texas GOP noted, “Texas still has NOT banned vaccine mandates.”

Harrison introduced legislation during the recent 88th Legislative Session that would have prohibited institutions from demanding people receive COVID vaccinations. Joined by Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Galveston), the bill would have ensured Texans retained the ability to give or withhold consent for medical treatments.

While the bill passed the Senate, the legislation died in the House after the Calendars Committee pushed it back and allowed the session to end before calling it to a vote.

With mask and vaccine mandates starting to crop up again across the country, some have called for the Texas Legislature to reconvene to address this matter specifically. Harrison previously told The Dallas Express he hoped Gov. Greg Abbott would call a special session on the subject, among other topics.

Other state representatives have voiced their support for banning vaccine mandates. Rep. Nate Schatzline (R-Fort Worth) said, “It is UNACCEPTABLE that Texas has not banned vaccine mandates, and we MUST GET IT DONE in a special session!”

Some health experts, however, claim government-enforced mask and vaccine mandates must be allowed for public safety.

Lawrence Gostin, a professor of medicine at Georgetown University, professor of public health at Johns Hopkins University, and director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, argued in favor of such directives in Scientific American in 2021.

“These edicts restrict private businesses, schools and [Institutions of Higher Education] from asking for proof of vaccination. … states previously acted to enhance public health powers,” he said.

“A multitude of states are doing the opposite during this pandemic, tying the hands of health officials to act quickly and decisively,” the professor added. “That will not only make it harder to fight COVID-19 but also the next health crisis.”

“No one has the right to go into a crowded classroom or workplace unmasked and unvaccinated,” Gostin claimed.

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