Although many Americans have been delayed or stranded in recent days due to Southwest Airline flight cancelations, many individuals have supported the apparent resistance some pilots have shown in response to impending vaccination mandates.
GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott weighed in on that hot-button issue this week with an executive order banning such mandates by private corporations.
“Including prior recovery from COVID-19”
Earlier this year, a number of Republican governors preemptively banned mandates that would prevent unvaccinated individuals from working or entering public places.
On the other side of the aisle, prominent Democrats have moved toward strict mandates, including a push to prevent unvaccinated travelers from flying on commercial airlines.
It is not clear how the Texas governor’s order will be enforced, but its language goes beyond prior actions by GOP leaders in his state and elsewhere across the nation.
Specifically, he called on the Texas state legislature to pass a law mirroring his order, which includes hefty fines for those found to be in violation. Abbott’s order also classifies natural immunity as a legitimate exception for vaccine requirements.
“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 order declared.
For its part, the Biden administration is pursuing a federal mandate that compels companies with more than 100 employees to require vaccinations or weekly COVID-19 tests for all workers. Southwest Airlines joined a number of other private companies to voluntarily move in that direction.
Abbott decried Biden’s “bullying” and called the order a “federal overreach” that would cause “workflow disruptions” across the economy.
Of course, the airline issued a statement rejecting any such correlation, blaming the disruption instead on weather and air traffic control interruptions.
That excuse struck many skeptics as laughable, including Fox News Channel personality Tucker Carlson, who cited sources with “direct knowledge” who confirmed pilots were refusing to show up for work because of the company’s requirement.