Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order late Monday prohibiting all COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state of Texas.
The ban prohibits “any entity.” including schools, private businesses, and local governments, from compelling an individual to receive the COVID-19 vaccine if they object due to reasons of “personal conscience,” such as religious beliefs. Abbott specifically took aim at the vaccine mandates announced in early September by President Joe Biden as his reason for issuing the order, arguing the mandates would harm Texas businesses and threaten Texans’ livelihoods.
I issued an Executive Order prohibiting vaccine mandates by ANY entity in Texas.
I also added the issue to the Special Session agenda.
The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, & our best defense against the virus, but should always remain voluntary & never forced. pic.twitter.com/8hHHLyebCk
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) October 11, 2021
“[I]n 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 the executive order.
Abbott also called on the state legislature to pass a law with the same effect as the executive order, and said he would rescind his order when such legislation was passed.
Abbott has pushed for relaxed COVID-19 restrictions since the early months of the pandemic, reopening schools and repealing mask requirements earlier than most states. The governor also issued an executive order in May banning schools and local governments from instituting their own mask mandates.