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Texas Gov. Greg

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AUSTIN, Texas (LifeSiteNews) – Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott moved Monday to preserve freedom of choice over COVID-19 vaccines in the Lone Star State, issuing an executive order banning any private or public entity from coercing Texans into taking the shots.

“No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19,” the executive order reads.

Abbott, who endorses the vaccines themselves as “safe [and] effective,” framed the action as a counterweight to the Biden administration’s impending mandate that all businesses with 100 or more workers require proof of vaccination or weekly testing, “causing workforce disruptions that threaten Texas’s continued recovery from the COVID-19 disaster.” He also called on the Texas Legislature to enact legislation codifying his order in state law.

The decision was met with hostility from Abbott’s usual critics on the political left, as well as from a small contingent of pundits who identify as conservatives while having devoted the bulk of their work in recent years to opposing former President Donald Trump and his perceived influence on the Republican Party.

The Dispatch
editors and former National Review personalities Jonah Goldberg and David French, for instance, framed Abbott’s order as an intrusion into the rights of private businesses (despite both having been significantly more charitable to Biden’s mandate):

Others argue that Abbott’s order cannot be properly analyzed without the context of the federal mandate announcement preceding it, and that individual rights warrant protection from public and private coercion alike:

Across the nation, significant concerns remain about the COVID vaccines’ safety and effectiveness, which stem from the fact that they were developed and released far faster than any previous vaccine.

Vaccine defenders note that the one-year development period was not starting from scratch, but rather relied on years of prior research into mRNA technology; and that one of the innovations of the Trump administration’s “Operation Warp Speed” was conducting various aspects of the development process concurrently rather than sequentially, eliminating delays unrelated to safety. However, those factors do not fully account for the condensing of clinical trial phases — each of which can take anywhere from 1-3 years on their own — to just three months apiece.

While cases of severe harm reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) after taking COVID shots represent less than one percent of total doses administered in the United States, a 2010 report submitted to the US Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) warned that VAERS caught “fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events.” 

May reporting from NBC News quotes several mainstream experts acknowledging “gaps” in federal vaccine monitoring, and a Project Veritas investigation released last month shows insiders at a federal medical facility speaking candidly about serious medical complications they’ve seen after COVID vaccination that are not being reported. 

Further, a growing body of data indicates that the mass vaccination strategy for defeating COVID-19 is failing. The federal government considers more than 65% of eligible Americans “fully vaccinated” (a designation that has lost meaning in light of growing evidence that vaccine effectiveness wears off in a matter of months), yet ABC News reported last week that more Americans died of COVID-19 this year (353,000) than in all of 2020 (352,000), according to data from Johns Hopkins University.