Texas governor bans mandated COVID-19 ‘vaccine passports’

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott used his govt energy Tuesday to ban state authorities and a few personal entities from requiring COVID-19 “vaccine passports” to entry companies, within the newest move from a Republican governor pitting public well being campaigns in opposition to private freedom and personal selections.

According to Abbott’s order, state businesses and political subdivisions, and private and non-private organizations that obtain public funding in Texas can not require folks to show that they’ve been inoculated in opposition to the coronavirus.

The mandate additionally states that it’s going to supersede any conflicting native govt orders and requires the Texas Legislature to take up COVID-19 vaccine necessities throughout its ongoing present session.

“We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms,” Abbott stated in a press release saying the order.

Abbott stated the U.S. Constitution doesn’t empower the federal authorities to mandate proof of vaccination. The White House has dominated out a nationwide “vaccine passport,” saying it is leaving it to the private sector to develop a system for people to show they’ve been vaccinated. The Biden administration is developing guidelines for such passports, touching on privacy, accuracy and equity.

Some other countries are establishing national databases to allow vaccinated people to resume normal activities. The White House says it won’t back such a system in the U.S.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a similar executive order Friday, banning businesses from requiring customers to prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to get service and barred any government agency in Florida from issuing such documentation to provide proof of vaccinations.

Texas health officials reported 4,167 new confirmed COVID-19 cases Tuesday, and the addition of 1,580 other previously unreported cases took the state’s pandemic total to just over 2.8 million. Of those, an estimated 69,241 cases were active Tuesday and 2,882 cases required hospitalization on Monday, the most recent data available. Those were 110 more hospitalizations than Sunday.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, 73 more COVID-19 deaths took the Texas pandemic death toll to 48,748. There were 172 new Texas cases per 100,000 people over the past two weeks, which ranks 36th in the country for new cases per capita, with the rolling average number of daily new cases decreasing by 721.3 over the past two weeks, a decrease of 19.6%, according to Johns Hopkins data.

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