Texas gov. forbids publicly-funded agencies from requiring COVID-19 passports
AUSTIN, Texas, April 6, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order on Monday prohibiting government entities from requiring people to provide 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 said in an address to Texans shared on his Twitter page.
“That is why I issued an executive order that prohibits government mandated vaccine passports in Texas,” he continued.
The order states that “any public or private entity” that receives public funds “through any means” cannot deny someone entry or service on the basis of their vaccination status.
Furthermore, it says 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.”
Abbott made the move after the Biden administration was reported to be working on a way to “standardize” a vaccination passport process. In response to concerns expressed by reporters, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier today that there will be “no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order banning COVID-19 vaccine passports goes a step further than Abbott’s. The Florida order prohibits both government entities and private agencies, regardless of whether they receive public funds, from requiring people to show proof of vaccination to any third party, or before accessing a business or using its services.
“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 be able to participate in normal society,” DeSantis said during a press conference.
Numerous countries have either introduced vaccine passports, or are considering introducing them. Most recently, EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton said the European Union’s brand-new “Digital Green Certificate” — or “sanitary certificate,” as he called it — has been approved by the 27 EU member states and will be released on June 15.
In early March, Abbott had announced that he is finally lifting his state’s COVID-19 mask mandate and remaining lockdown restrictions.
President Joe Biden, in turn, slammed governors, including Abbott, for making a “big mistake” by removing mask mandates.
“Look, I hope everybody’s realized by now these masks make a difference,” he claimed. “We are on the cusp of being able to fundamentally change the nature of this disease because of the way in which we’re able to get vaccines in people’s arms. We’ve been able to move that all the way up to the end of May to have enough for every American, to get every adult American to get a shot.”
Biden then used the word “Neanderthals” to describe the governors: “The last thing, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking that in the meantime everything’s fine, take off your mask.”