Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order on Monday prohibiting the government from mandating a “vaccine passport” in the state.
“Every day, Texans return to normalcy as more people get the COVID vaccine. In fact, this week, Texas will surpass 13 million doses administered. Those shots help slow the spread of COVID, reduce hospitalizations, and reduce fatalities. But, as I have said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced,” the Republican explained. “Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives. … We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health. And we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.”
Sound on: pic.twitter.com/UgrO6YFgxh
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 6, 2021
In addition to blocking the government from compelling Texans to take the COVID-19 vaccine while it is still under an emergency authorization by the Food and Drug Administration, Abbott also forbade any “public or private entity” that receives government funding, such as loans, grants, and contracts, from withholding service or entry to Texans who do not have proof that they received inoculation.
“No consumer may be denied entry to a facility financed in whole or in part by public funds for failure to provide documentation regarding the consumer’s vaccination status for any COVID-19 vaccine,” the order states.
Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis was one of the first elected officials to denounce “vaccine passports” and issue an executive order banning government and businesses from mandating documentation in exchange for goods and services. Requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19, DeSantis warned, “will reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy.”
“We always said we wanted to provide [the vaccine] for all but mandate it for none,” DeSantis said. “While it was advised to take, particularly if you’re vulnerable, we were not going to force you to do it. It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply participate in normal society.”