Texas Physicians are Putting Up a Fight Against Governor Abbott’s Latest Order

Tom Handy

Several Texas physicians want Governor Greg Abbott to rescind his executive order banning vaccine requirements. They want the government to stay out of health care.

On Friday, the Committee to Protect Health Care said the latest executive order prevents health care facilities from making decisions protecting patients.

Dr. Joanna Schwartz, a pediatric emergency specialist in Austin, said Governor Abbott’s order goes against fundamental business principles in Texas.

Texas is all about business and individual businesses should be able to set policies for their employees,” she said. “People don’t always make the best decision. A lot of people are fueled by misinformation that’s available on the internet on social media. And it should be up to an individual institution to decide the policies for their employees, and hospitals or other health care facilities should absolutely have the right to require vaccinations.”

The vaccination requirements for health care workers got national attention when the Houston Methodist Hospital system suspended 178 employees without pay over their refusal to get vaccinated. A federal judge threw out the lawsuit by the employees and said vaccinations as a condition of employment are not coercion.

Texas Republican lawmakers disagreed and said it is a discriminatory practice for employers to terminate staff over refusal to get the vaccine.

Eric McDaniel, associate professor of politics at the University of Texas, said lawmakers may not try to codify Abbott’s Executive Order GA- No. 40 that was just announced.

Texas is actively trying to recruit businesses from other states, and it’s been very successful in doing so. But if you do something like this, it may make businesses a little bit wary of coming to Texas, because it says it’s saying if we’re going to try to regulate this aspect of your business, who’s to say we won’t try to regulate other aspects,” McDaniel said.

He said aside from potentially being seen as bad for business, there is a legal precedent that could potentially strike down such a law.

When it comes to government mandates of something such as the vaccination… there’s a court case from over 110 years ago when the Supreme Court said under certain conditions, people can’t be mandated to be vaccinated,” McDaniel said.

The medical community is outraged over Governor Abbott’s latest political decision.

Vaccine requirements are nothing new for healthcare workers," Pediatric Emergency Medicine Specialist in Austin Dr. Joanna Schwartz said. "A ban on COVID vaccine mandates is purely political and not based in science.”

Texas Billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban also requires his employees to get vaccinated.

Do you think the COVID-19 vaccine should be mandatory?

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