The state of Texas faces a new obstacle as Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday, banning vaccine mandates for employees and customers for any Texas entity, including private businesses.
"No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including any 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," the order reads.
The new legislation follows President Joe Biden's September mandate, requiring private businesses to host COVID-19 vaccinations 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," the governor continued.
Abbott, who received the coronavirus vaccine in December, wanted to "serve as an example to Texans," per The Texas Tribune. In a recent statement, the governor ensured Texans that the vaccines are in fact safe, but should remain autonomous. Before the new executive order, the Texas leader signed previous legislation that barred government agencies, cities, counties and school districts from imposing COVID-19 vaccine requirements. The new order specifically targets private businesses, like Southwest and American airlines, who agreed to abide by President Biden's order.
While Abbott placed a ban on vaccine mandates, he's also calling on the state legislature to pass a similar law. During the third special legislative session, which ends October 19, he plans to rescind the executive order once the law is in place.
According to USA Facts, 51% percent of Texans are fully vaccinated. The Texas Department of Health and Human Services, also reports as of today, the state has reported 7,295 new confirmed cases, along with 233 reported fatalities.
For more information on Governor Abbott's executive order, visit the Office of the Texas Governor.