Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday banned all employees in the state, including private employers, from mandating all COVID-19 vaccines in response to what the Biden administration called “bullying.”
Abbott’s move prepares him for a confrontation with President Joe Biden, a Democrat who last month called on businesses across the country to order their workers to be vaccinated or lose their jobs. At least several thousand people have been fired for refusing to comply.
In another executive order, Abbott said, “In another instance of exceeding the federal threshold, the Biden administration is now threatening many private companies to order the Covid 19 vaccine, which is disrupting the workforce.” That leaves Texas in constant danger of recovering from the Cove 19 disaster. “
The White House did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Abbott’s order states that “no organization in Texas” can force proof of vaccination from any individual, including employees or consumers. He asked the state legislators to take up the issue in the next special session.
Tech giants Facebook Inc. and Google Alphabet Inc. have both told employees they will need proof of vaccination to return to their offices. Both companies have large numbers of employees in Texas.
Fort Worth-based American Airlines, the largest U.S. carrier, told its 100,000 U.S. employees last week that they would have to submit proof of full vaccination after November 24 – or be fired. ۔
United Airlines has imposed a vaccine mandate on 60,000 of its employees, of which about 9,000 are based in Texas.
The company is defending the lawsuit in Fort Worth, and a federal judge will hear a restraining order from United employees on Wednesday to prevent the carrier from dismissing those seeking a waiver.
Biden issued his mandate in September as his administration struggled to control epidemics, which have killed more than 700,000 Americans.
Political leaders in the United States have stepped up pressure on immunizations in recent weeks.
Laws requiring vaccine proof are highly controversial in the United States, and have been criticized by many Americans as unconstitutional and dictatorial.
Proponents of the vaccine mandate say they need to get the nation out of the nearly two-year-old epidemic and bring it back to normal.