September 28, 2022

Texas Governor Greg Abbott informs Biden administration that he will not enforce vaccine mandate

President Joe Biden’s administration is implementing vaccine mandates despite pushback from many directions. Now some in Texas have GOP Gov. Greg Abbott standing in the administration’s way as well.

Abbott said in a letter Thursday to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that he will not enforce the COVID-19 vaccine mandates on the Texas National Guard, Breitbart reported. The Republican governor has already made it clear through an executive order that he would not allow it in his state and seems to be doubling down.

“As Governor of Texas, I am the commander-in-chief of this State’s militia,” Abbott reminded Austin. “In that capacity, on October 4, 2021, I ordered the Adjutant General of Texas to comply with my Executive Order GA-39,” he said.

Abbott had previously directed Texas Adjutant General Tracy Norris that guardsmen should not be penalized. “If unvaccinated guardsmen suffer any adverse consequences within the State of Texas, they will have only President Joe Biden and his Administration to blame,” Abbott wrote.

“The State of Texas will not enforce this latest COVID-19 vaccine mandate against its guardsmen,” the governor said. “If the federal government keeps threatening to defund the Texas National Guard, I will deploy every legal tool available to me as Governor in defense of these American heroes,” Abbott said.

In August, Austin announced that military members would have to get the vaccines or face penalties, according to the Washington Post. Failing to get vaccinated could preclude National Guard members from their training or could result in docked pay.

Austin is also facing challenges from the governors from Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, Nebraska, and Wyoming who petitioned the Pentagon for exemptions, NBC News reported. Austin has not yet responded, though he’s also facing Abbott’s pushback as well as a public standoff with Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma.

Vaccine mandates in the military are nothing new, but the National Guard is under the direction of governors who should have the right to exempt their states’ servicemen. It’s clear mandates are not about public safety but about government control — and there’s no way Abbott will stand for it.




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