Washington, Oct 11 (EFE).- Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott Monday banned all Covid-19 vaccine mandates in the state in response to what he called a “bullying” federal overreach by President Joe Biden.
“No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a Covid-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons,” Abbott said in an executive order.
“I suspend all relevant statutes to the extent necessary to enforce this prohibition.”
The order comes a month after Biden announced that his government planned to force most of the workers of private companies to get vaccinated or present negative test results for Covid-19 every week.
Even as the federal move is still a work in progress, the announcement sparked the ire of conservative leaders like Abbott.
Abbott signed an executive order prohibiting “any entity” in Texas, including private companies, from requiring their employees to get vaccinated.
“In yet another instance of federal overreach, the Biden administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing Covid-19 vaccine mandates, causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’ s continued recovery,” the governor said.
Abbott had earlier signed an executive order weeks ago that prohibited schools and local authorities from requesting vaccination tests from teachers, students, and officials.
The order has been challenged in court.
The Republican governor got vaccinated against Covid-19 at a televised event in December last year.
He then asked Texans to get vaccinated because it was “safe and easy.”
“I will never ask any Texan to do something that I am not willing to do myself,” Abbott said then.
But, in recent months, he has fought relentlessly against city and school district regulations that mandate the use of masks and require proof of vaccination.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department is drafting the regulations Biden announced in September amid the raging pandemic that has killed more than 700,000 Americans.
It is unknown when the White House will implement the Biden mandate.
The ruling will affect some 80 million workers, more than two-thirds of the American workforce.
Across the United States, 56.4 percent of the eligible population is fully inoculated, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed.
The average number of vaccinations is lower in Texas, where 51.8 percent of the population is fully immunized. EFE