Texas Governor Continues Stand against Federal Vaccine Mandate

The ever-increasing number of “help wanted” and “now hiring” signs in businesses and storefronts isn’t likely to decrease with the end of federal unemployment funds this fall. Instead, vaccine mandates, justified in part by President Biden’s employer vaccine mandate, will only contribute to the growing employee shortage nationwide. 

In June, over 150 employees at a Texas hospital were fired or resigned following the institution of a COVID-19 vaccine policy. Late last month, notably left-leaning NPR published a piece titled, “Nurses Are In Short Supply. Employers Worry Vaccine Mandate Could Make It Worse,” and still more headlines continue to report the resignation of law enforcement and others over the mandatory vaccine. One hospital in Lowville, New York even announced last month that it would pause maternity services later in the month due to a loss of staff over the vaccine mandate. 

In response to Biden’s controversial vaccine mandate, Governor Greg Abbott continues to push back. On Monday, the Governor’s office expanded an existing vaccine mandate ban to include private entities. The latest of Abbott’s executive orders stands as the most recent of “a series of executive orders aimed at protecting the health and safety of Texans, ensuring uniformity throughout Texas” and “achieving the least restrictive means of combatting” COVID. In Executive Order GA-40, the Governor strongly encourages vaccines for those eligible to receive one, yet emphasizes their voluntary nature and cites what he describes as “federal overreach.” 

The Republican governor’s order considers the impact and fallout of federal overreach. It respects those who have opted not to vaccinate “for reason of conscience of medical reasons.” Matters of conscience include religious objections, and recovery from prior COVID infection falls under medical reasons. The executive order recognizes also the “workforce disruption” caused by vaccine mandates and the threat they pose to Texas’s continued recovery from the pandemic. 

Monday’s announcement represents another significant stand against national measures to exert control and the failure to acknowledge the widespread impact of federal vaccine mandates.

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