Companies in Texas slammed Governor Greg Abbott’s efforts to block the company’s request for vaccines because partisan struggles in the country are intensifying.
Abbott issued an executive order on Monday stating that “no entity in Texas can compulsorily receive Covid-19 vaccination” and encouraged the state’s lawmakers to pass legislation prohibiting these authorizations.
Bob Harvey, head of the Greater Houston Partnership, said on Tuesday that “the governor’s executive order does not support the ability and responsibility of Texas companies to create safe workplaces.” The organization’s members include Exxon Mobil, Citigroup, and Snow Folong and Accenture.
He said that while the executive order is in place, the company should “continue to promote the importance of vaccination,” adding that the order may be tested in court.
“The Covid-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus, but it should be voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said of his order.
The order brought Texas into conflict with the Biden administration, which issued its own executive order last month, forcing all companies in the country with more than 100 employees to require their employees to be vaccinated.
The White House criticized the move on Tuesday, saying Abbott “puts politics above health.”
The dueling order has caused chaos within the business community, and the business community must now decide whether it will violate a state or federal order when debating authorization in court.
Texas-based airlines American Airlines and Southwest Airlines believe that vaccines are essential to get Americans back on flights. They said on Tuesday afternoon that they would keep the vaccine regulations, ignoring the governor’s executive order. They all stated that they want the authorization of the federal government to take precedence over the authorization of the state government.
Some participants in the state’s key energy sector have also adopted vaccine regulations. Some of the largest oil and gas producers and refiners in the state, including Chevron and Pioneer Natural Resources, require their employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
This article has been updated to include announcements from American Airlines and Southwest Airlines that they will retain their vaccination regulations.