While Republicans have uniformly opposed vaccine mandates for private citizens, they've largely shied away from telling privately-owned businesses what to do. Governor Mike DeWine here in Ohio has said businesses should make their own decisions about mandating vaccines for their employees, but Texas Governor Greg Abbott has now broken the mold.
Abbott has signed an executive order banning all vaccine mandates in the state of Texas for all entities including privately-owned businesses and even the health care system.
Oct 11 (Reuters) - Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott, responding to what he called "bullying" by the Biden Administration, on Monday barred all COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state by any entity, including private employers. [...]
Tech giants Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google have both told employees that they would need proof of vaccination to return to their offices. Both companies employ large numbers in Texas.
Fort Worth-based American Airlines, the largest U.S. carrier, last week told its 100,000 U.S.-based employees they must submit proof of full vaccination no later than Nov. 24 - or be fired. read more
United Airlines imposed a vaccine mandate on its 60,000 employees, around 9,000 of whom are based in Texas.
In addition to Abbott's executive order stating that "no entity in Texas" can force employees to get vaccinated, he's also calling up yet another special session of the state legislature to ban all mandates by law rather than through an executive order. The state legislature would normally only meet once every two years, but several additional sessions have been called this year to tackle pressing problems such as people exercising their right to vote and transgender people existing.
I understand why supposedly 'business friendly' financial policies in Republican-controlled states can be alluring to a large company, but this is the flip side of turning over the fate of your business operations to culture warriors. Companies will find it harder to attract the employees they want when prospective employees realize it would require moving to a cultural battleground like Texas where lawmakers are checking all the boxes for their next political convention.
Now that Governor Abbott is banning all vaccine mandates, Republicans in other states will likely follow his lead. No Republican hopeful wants to be outdone by other Republicans in other states who they might face during the next presidential primary.
Republicans are incapable of thinking for themselves.