Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) on Wednesday reissued a ban on COVID vaccine mandates by any state or local government agency.
Abbott had also recently announced his own case of COVID, but described his symptoms as a “brief and mild infection,” and speculated that receiving the vaccine helped to lessen his symptoms.
The ban includes exceptions for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
On top of the executive order, Abbott has asked the state legislature – which is currently in special session – to consider the question of local governments instituting vaccine mandates.
Vaccine mandates aren’t the only thing Abbott is fighting.
Earlier this month, Abbott stated that any local entities that defied his order banning mask mandates would be taken to court:
“Any school district, public university, or local government official that decides to defy GA-38—which prohibits gov’t entities from mandating masks—will be taken to court. The path forward relies on personal responsibility—not government mandates.”
As of August 16, the Texas Supreme Court has upheld the ban on mask mandates. Prior to the ruling, Dallas, Austin, and Houston school districts had imposed mask mandates in defiance of Abbott’s original order.
Greg Abbott is not the lone Republican governor fighting against mask mandates and for personal choice and freedom, even as some largely Democrat areas of the state attempt to defy bans on mask mandates.
In addition to Texas, Florida, Utah, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Iowa, and South Carolina also have bans on mask mandates.
In Arizona, the ban goes into effect September 29, and Gov. Doug Ducey has also barred districts that defy the order from not only accessing $163 million virus relief pool, but has also said that parents could receive $7,000 per student to access the school of their choice should the district they reside in mandates masks.
Ducey said in a statement, “Safety recommendations are welcomed and encouraged — mandates that place more stress on students and families aren’t.”
As the debate between masking and not masking, vaccinated and unvaccinated rages on, polls show that red state governors may be waging an uphill battle. A recent poll showed that Americans are beginning to favor mask and vaccine mandates in school, workplaces, and other public places.
As might be expected, the numbers fell along party lines with Democrats favoring the mandates over Republicans, but overall, the Axios/Ipsos poll showed 64% of Americans are now in favor of such mandates.
The poll showed some regional differences as well, with those in the Midwest being the most critical of the government imposing mask or vaccine mandates.
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