As medical providers, government entities, and public health officials raise the possibility of returning to COVID-era restrictions, Texas leaders are calling for greater medical freedom protections.
As reported by The Dallas Express, more institutions have signaled a return to such restrictions across the country. In Texas, schools have restarted certain COVID-19 tracking procedures, requesting personal vaccination information from staffers. Additionally, a Texas-based medical company reinstituted masking requirements at all its facilities.
Rep. Brian Harrison (R-Midlothian) asked Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday to expand the upcoming special legislative session on school choice to include bills that would address concerns about COVID-related mandates.
“Thank you for the bold leadership you have demonstrated in support of empowering every family in Texas with education freedom. … However, Texas should be leading not just in education freedom, but in all areas of freedom,” Harrison said in a letter to the governor.
“We must do more to protect individual liberty, limited government, secure borders, and fight against the unprecedented and unconstitutional tyranny coming from an out of control federal government,” he continued.
“With the next generation literally on the line, Texas must lead, and lead now,” the representative said, calling for Texas to “Protect medical freedom by banning all COVID-19 vaccine mandates and ending deference to CDC.”
Harrison had introduced legislation during the regular session alongside Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Galveston) to prevent people from being forced to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, but the bill died after the committee responsible for scheduling votes in the House killed it, as reported by The Dallas Express.
Joining Harrison’s call are groups from across the state. Recently, the Dallas County Republican Party unanimously passed a resolution requesting that Abbott add a medical liberty component to future special session calls.
Similarly, the Ellis County Republican Party condemned the Calendars Committee in the Texas House for killing Harrison’s bill and asked Abbott to call the legislators back to Austin for the purpose of “enshrining informed consent into state law and prohibiting the administration of a COVID vaccine to any resident of Texas who is under duress or undue influence to consent to vaccination.”
Groups such as Texans for Vaccine Choice have also worked to raise awareness about the issue and support efforts to include medical freedom protections in future special sessions.
The issue has become a bigger concern as more private entities have begun taking action to force people to abide by COVID-related protocols. In Rowlett, a mother was threatened with child protective services by a pediatric clinic when she initially declined to mask her children or herself at an appointment, as reported by The Dallas Express.
Calls for medical freedom legislation in Texas come as the state continues to see a significant rise in confirmed COVID-19 cases, albeit of the milder variety.
Dr. Mark Casanova of Baylor Scott & White said people should wear masks in addition to getting the latest vaccine.
“[There are many] reasons for us to take this seriously, not panic, but consider getting that booster,” Casanova told WFAA. “Masks still work, and vaccines save lives.”
Michelle Evans, the founder of Texans of Vaccine Choice, told The Dallas Express, “Grassroots local leaders are taking a decisive stand on medical liberty on behalf of Texans.”
“Dallas County joins numerous other local GOPs and the City of Odessa in support of banning vaccine mandates,” she continued. “The pressure from below is mounting for the Legislature to finally pass the Texas COVID Vaccine Freedom Act in the next special session.”