Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, on Tuesday signed an executive order banning the government from requiring “vaccine passports” in the state, following Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ similar order last week.
Abbott, in a video released on Twitter, said that while Texas is returning to “normalcy” following increased COVID-19 vaccination efforts, those efforts can be done “without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms,” according to the governor.
“Every day, Texans are returning to normal life as more people get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine,” Abbott said. “But, as I have said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced.
“Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives. That is why I have issued an executive order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas. We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.”
DeSantis said last week, after signing a similar order: “We always said we wanted to provide it for all but mandate it for none. And that was something that, while it was advised to take particularly if you’re vulnerable, we were not going to force you to do it.”
He added, “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.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told “Politico Dispatch” on Monday that the administration has no plans of mandating the use of “vaccine passports,” though he did say he expects schools and businesses to require them.
“I doubt that the federal government will be the main mover of a vaccine passport concept,” he said. “They may be involved in making sure things are done fairly and equitably, but I doubt if the federal government is gonna be the leading element of that.”
Fauci added that “individual entities,” like entertainment venues and educational institutions could have their own policies requiring proof of vaccination.
“I’m not saying that they should or that they would, but I’m saying you could foresee how an independent entity might say, ‘Well, we can’t be dealing with you unless we know you’re vaccinated,’” Fauci said. “But it’s not going to be mandated from the federal government.”
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