As the concept of a “vaccine passport” is being hotly debated across the nation, Texas Governor Greg Abbot has made sure to draw a line in the sand which he believes his state ought never to cross when it comes to requiring such documentation in the age of COVID.
On Monday, Abbot signed an executive order prohibiting any publicly funded agency from requiring Texans to show their proof of vaccination.
“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,” Abbott explained in an address that was shared to Twitter, LifeSiteNews reports.
“That is why I issued an executive order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas,” he added.
His order prohibits “any public or private entity” that receives public funding “through any means” from denying any individual service or entry to their premises on the basis of their vaccination status.
The order also expressly notes that “the Constitution does not empower the federal government to mandate nationwide vaccine passports for COVID-19, and Texas will not impose such vaccine passports with the police power that is reserved to the states under our system of federalism.”
Last month, Abbot became the first governor to fully re-open his state from pandemic restrictions on small businesses.
Meanwhile, his Democrat counterpart in New York, Andrew Cuomo, unveiled the nation’s first vaccine passport in March.
This week, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was forced to clarify that there will be “no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential” after reports that the administration was working to “standardize” a vaccination passport process, LifeSiteNews notes.
Several other Republican governors have issued decisive statements opposing the notion of a vaccine passport in their localities, with Florida, Texas, and Utah also issuing bans on the requirement of such documentation.
Missouri Governor Mike Parsons also said this week the Show Me state would “never” require vaccine passports under his leadership.
“We are never going to do that in the state of Missouri. We are never going to have a mandate, a passport, a vaccine passport in this state,” the Republican governor told Fox & Friends this week.
“You know, if people want to carry a card … that’s fine. That’s called freedom. It’s called individual rights, but it’s not government’s place to do that.”
“I think everybody just jumps a knee-jerk reaction when they think you have got to mandate the American people to do something, and that’s not who we are,” he added.
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