Texas official clashes with Greg Abbott over vaccine mandate ban
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, obviously determined to remind the MAGA crowd that he hasn't abandoned them, has banned private businesses from having vaccine mandates for employees — and many Texas Democrats have been slamming him for it. One of them is Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee. During a recent interview with MSNBC host Zerlina Maxwell, Menefee attacked Abbott's executive order as bad policy.
When Maxwell asked Menefee how private businesses are "handling" Abbott's prohibition of vaccine mandates, the Harris County attorney responded, "Gov. Abbott loves to say that Texas is open for business, but this ban on vaccine mandates is about as anti-business as it gets. It strips away choice from businesses who are trying to make tough decisions about how to keep their employees, their customers most safe during this pandemic."
Harris County includes Houston, the largest city in Texas and fourth largest in the United States (a position previously held by Philadelphia before Houston surpassed Philly in population). Houston, like Austin and El Paso, is a Democratic stronghold in a light red state that now-President Joe Biden lost to former President Donald Trump by 6% in the 2020 election. Abbott critics are not hard to find in Harris County, and Menefee is one of them.
Menefee told Maxwell, "You've seen chambers of commerce, you've seen business groups, you've seen large institutional businesses like Southwest Airlines or American Lines come out and say, 'We're going to follow what the federal government has told us to do where employers that have more than 100 employees are to mandate the vaccine.' And I think this was exactly what the governor wanted. It was to sow confusion in business to put these businesses in the very tough position of having to potentially get sued for violating the federal government's rule or potentially get sued for violating the governor's executive order. It's bad business for Texas, and it's bad policy for Texas well."
Under President Joe Biden's vaccine/COVID-19 test mandate, businesses with more than 100 employees must require them to either get vaccinated for COVID-19 or be tested weekly for the coronavirus. In that sense, it isn't a total vaccine mandate — as employees who refuse to get vaccinated can take the weekly test as an alternative and still keep their jobs.
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