Texas Governor Blocks Vaccine Mandates by Private Employers
(Bloomberg) -- Texas Governor Greg Abbott outlawed vaccine mandates in the second-largest U.S. state, setting the stage for a showdown with the federal government in Washington.
In an executive order signed Monday, the Republican said “no entity in Texas can compel receipt of a Covid-19 vaccination by any individual, including an employee or 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,” according to a statement from Abbott’s office.
Abbott is pitting himself directly against President Joe Biden, whose own Sept. 9 executive order calls for employers with more than 100 workers to require vaccines or weekly testing once the Occupational Safety and Health Administration creates formal rules. Federal contractors and health-care providers are also supposed to mandate vaccines under Biden’s order.
Many large companies, including Texas-based American Airlines Group Inc. and AT&T Inc., are rolling out companywide vaccine requirements, and health systems such as Houston Methodist have long had them in place.
Abbott also plans to add the mandates ban to the agenda of an ongoing special session of the state House and Senate, a procedural move that would enable the Republican-controlled legislature to enshrine his executive order into law.
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