Texas Gov. Greg Abbott orders a ban on all COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state

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Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (seen here on Sept. 22) has issued an executive order banning private companies from enforcing COVID vaccine mandates.

Joel Marinez/The Monitor via AP

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Joel Marinez/The Monitor via AP

Why Biden Has Taken Up Vaccine Mandates And The Political Fight Over Them

Abbott, who was previously vaccinated and also later tested positive for COVID-19, noted in his order that «vaccines are strongly encouraged for those eligible to receive one, but must always be voluntary for Texans.»

Montana has passed a law preventing employers from mandating workers get vaccines, and a number of states have explicitly said schools cannot require vaccinations.

Abbott previously barred vaccine mandates by state and local government agencies, but until now had let private companies make their own rules for their workers. It was not immediately clear if Abbott’s latest executive order would face a quick court challenge.

Abbott’s new order also carries political implications. The two-term Republican is facing pressure from two candidates in next year’s GOP primary, former state Sen. Don Huffines and former Florida Congressman and Texas state party chairman Allen West, have attacked Abbott’s COVID-19 policies and have strongly opposed vaccine mandates.

«He knows which the way the wind is blowing. He knows conservative Republican voters are tired of the vaccine mandates and tired of him being a failed leader,» Huffines tweeted.

West announced this this week he tested positive for COVID-19 and has been hospitalized, but also tweeted he remains opposed to vaccine mandates.

Texas has seen a recent decrease in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. But a rising death toll from the recent surge caused by the delta variant has the state rapidly approaching 67,000 total fatalities since the pandemic began in 2020.

  • vaccine mandates
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

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