Abbott Prohibits Mandatory Masks and Vaccines: “Texans will decide for themselves”

by Vianca Rodriguez

Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, signed an executive order on Thursday restricting public entities and private businesses from requiring masks and vaccines in exchange for citizens to receive services or to be allowed entry.

“The new executive order emphasizes that the path forward relies on personal responsibility rather than government mandates,” said Abbott, promoting individual rights and freedoms.

He assured that Texans have not only successfully managed to navigate safety guidelines on how to prevent continued spread of COVID-19 on their own, but that they also “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.”

Although vaccines are in high supply and availability, they “will always remain voluntary — never forced — in the State of Texas,” the governor vowed.

In accordance with Executive Order GA-38, the most significant amendment was ensuring that vaccines remain a choice for Texans, in such a way that “state agencies and political subdivisions shall not adopt or enforce any order, ordinance, policy, regulation, rule, or similar measure that requires an individual to provide, as a condition of receiving any service or entering any place, documentation regarding the individual’s vaccination status for any COVID-l9 vaccine administered under an emergency use authorization.”

Additionally, the order prohibits any public or private entity that receives any public funding from requiring individuals to be vaccinated, or to provide their vaccination status as a condition of entry or to receive any service. 

Abbott clarified rules regarding face masks as well, specifying that “no person may be required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering.” This order includes school districts and other city/state governmental agencies.  

The rapid response on behalf of the Texas governor comes as many “blue” states are implementing vastly different executive orders. Many of which have been criticized as “government overreach” in places such as California, New York, and Washington D.C. where lawmakers are re-implementing COVID-19 restrictions. One such measure is requiring that all people wear face masks both indoors and outdoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Similarly, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., issued a startling order on Wednesday directing Capitol Police to arrest any House member, staff, or visitor caught not wearing a face mask inside the Capitol. 

Last week, Mayor Bowser of Washington D.C. announced that anyone caught not wearing a face covering will be fined and arrested. Conversely, Abbott opposes the implementation of such tyrannical restrictions.

Just days ago, Biden Administration officials revealed they plan to mandate federal workers, including contractors, to get the vaccine.

The ongoing hypocrisy regarding mask and vaccine mandates, as well as the controversies surrounding their efficacy, is causing much turmoil all over the nation as governors seek to either push back or crack down on COVID-19 restrictions.

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