Texas Governor Greg Abbott threatened to fine any local officials who attempt to enforce new mask mandates.
Abbott on Thursday issued an executive order designed to promote clarity and uniformity in the state’s COVID-19 response, as federal entities issue new mask guideance and vaccine mandates.
In a statement touting the new order, the Republican governor emphasized personal responsibility and freedom of choice.
“Texans have mastered the safe practices that help to prevent and avoid the spread of COVID-19,” he said.
“They have the individual right and responsibility to decide for themselves and their children whether they will wear masks, open their businesses, and engage in leisure activities.”
I issued an executive order providing uniformity in Texas’ COVID response—we must rely on personal responsibility, not gov’t mandates.
Texans will decide for themselves whether they’ll wear masks & open businesses.
Vaccines are the best defense & will always remain voluntary. pic.twitter.com/3lIOt5BYZ0
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 29, 2021
Officials In Texas Will Be Fined For Enforcing Mask Mandate
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Governor Abbott’s executive order provides further detail as to any punitive damages rendered to local officials who attempt to enforce mask mandates in Texas.
“No governmental entity, including a county, city, school district, and public health authority, and no governmental official may require any
person to wear a face covering or to mandate that another person wear a face covering,” the order reads.
Exceptions are carved out in certain situations such as hospitals and jails. Other situations will result in fines.
“The imposition of any such face-covering requirement by a local governmental entity or official constitutes a ‘failure to comply with'” the executive order, meaning they are “subject to a fine up to $1,000.”
I issued an executive order restricting transportation of migrants who pose a risk of carrying COVID into Texas.@TxDPS is ordered to stop & reroute, or impound any vehicle being used to transport illegal migrants who have been detained by @CBP.https://t.co/8UQ3gmKIis pic.twitter.com/wUHSIIRQYe
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 28, 2021
Never Forcing The Vaccine
Abbott’s statement also references the vaccine, something he strongly encourages but something he believes is a personal decision for the individual.
“Vaccines, which remain in abundant supply, are the most effective defense against the virus, and they will always remain voluntary – never forced – in the State of Texas,” he said.
While his administration pushes for mask mandates on vaccinated Americans, Joe Biden mingles with dozens of maskless people. pic.twitter.com/gclRQ3QOfr
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 28, 2021
The Texas governor’s push for liberty and freedom for Texans comes as the White House is pushing mask guidance and vaccine mandates.
President Biden on Thursday announced that federal employees will be required to provide proof of vaccination or face regular testing, mask mandates, and travel restrictions.
He urged local governments to pay people $100 to get the vaccine.
The President also said he was looking to head down a path where every American is forced to be vaccinated.
When asked about nationwide vaccine mandate, Biden says he’d like to see it “move in that direction.” pic.twitter.com/GMRQPN4OGT
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) July 29, 2021
The only thing seemingly preventing him right now is his uncertainty as to whether or not he has the authority to make such a move.
“It’s still a question of whether the federal government can mandate the whole country,” he told reporters. “I don’t know that yet.”
As the President continues to push for mask and vaccine mandates for Americans, reports have surfaced indicating the Biden administration is releasing COVID-positive illegal immigrants into some communities.
.@JudgeCortez: “I call on federal immigration officials to stop releasing infected migrants into our community and I am further calling on Governor Abbott to return to Hidalgo County the safety tools he took away that would help us slow the spread of this disease.” #rgv pic.twitter.com/RbY5Xtm4q3
— Dave Hendricks (@dmhj) July 27, 2021
The news of COVID-positive illegal immigrants being released into Texas communities led to another executive order being issued by Abbott.
The order authorizes law enforcement officials to stop any vehicle suspected of transporting migrants who have crossed the border illegally.
“The dramatic rise in unlawful border crossings has also led to a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases among unlawful migrants who have made their way into our state, and we must do more to protect Texans from this virus and reduce the burden on our communities,” said Abbott.
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