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Greg Abbott remains COVID’s best friend

It’s hard to even know what to say.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday announced an executive order banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates regardless of a vaccine’s approval status with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

He also said he was adding the issue to the agenda for the current special session of the Texas Legislature.

The order comes two days after the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. That raised questions about the fate of a previous Abbott order that prohibited vaccine mandates, but only for those under emergency authorization.

Abbott’s latest order is simple, saying “no governmental entity can compel any individual to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.” The order preserves exceptions for places like nursing homes and state-supported living centers.

At the same time, Abbott asked lawmakers to consider legislation addressing whether state or local governments could issue vaccine mandates and, if so, which exemptions should apply.

“Vaccine requirements and exemptions have historically been determined by the legislature, and their involvement is particularly important to avoid a patchwork of vaccine mandates across Texas,” Abbott said in a statement.

[…]

There specifically appeared to be the fresh potential for cities, counties and school districts to require their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. San Antonio Independent School District had already announced mandatory employee vaccinations, prompting a lawsuit from Attorney General Ken Paxton.

District officials said Wednesday they will move forward with the mandate — despite Abbott’s latest order.

“We strongly believe that the safest path forward as a school district is for all staff to become vaccinated against COVID-19,” the district said in a statement.

See here for some background, and here for a copy of the order. As the story notes, this would prevent government entities from ordering their employees from getting COVID shots, though as you can see that’s already being challenged. Private employers are not affected by this, so if you work for one of the increasing number of them that are imposing COVID vax mandates, you’re out of luck. A bill passed during the regular session forbids businesses from requiring proof of vaccination from their customers, though that doesn’t take effect until September 1 so Harry Styles can still do what he wants.

I don’t think this is anywhere near the end of it. The same arguments being made about mask mandate bans – successfully, so far – by multiple counties and school districts is that the Disaster Act of 1975 doesn’t actually give Abbott this power. That would be equally true for vaccine mandate bans, I would think. That doesn’t mean the courts, by which I mostly mean the Supreme Court, will eventually accept that argument, just that these same entities will give it a try. The federal government will have a say as well, and let’s not forget the federal lawsuit, too. We’re also going to have an election next year, and we have the option of electing a Governor who wants to fight against the COVID virus instead of fighting for it. There’s a lot more of this story to be written. The Current and the Chron have more.

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11 Comments

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    We don’t want to end up like Australia. It was of course started as a prison colony, but it had moved beyond that until now. Biden should take the military from Afghanistan, occupy and liberate Australia, and take the prime minister to face trial for crimes against humanity.

  2. J says:

    Jason, are you sure you’re not a flaming dipshit?

  3. Jason Hochman says:

    J, are you sure that you want us to have an authoritarian government which is just a puppet of the rich? The panic inflicted on us has caused the greatest wealth transfer in human history, all due to progressives, and those who want an authoritarian response. A healthy society can’t exist with so much wealth inequality. Thanks for the opportunity to respond to your personal attack.

  4. J says:

    Jason, when you post crazy stuff, which you do almost every day, you can expect snide remarks. That is the way the world works.

    Wealth transfer? You mean like Greg Abbott transferring billions in cash from us Texans to his rich Wall Street buddies for power and natural gas?

    Yes, wealth inequality is very bad. Progressives had nothing to do with it. Look to Reaganites and their GOP descendants, and all their deregulation starting in the 80’s and continuing today.

  5. policywonqueria says:

    Political scientists have a concept for this: PATH DEPENDENCY.

    Other scholars might observe that Abbott still operates like a supreme court justice, except that he now needs his erstwhile colleagues only for ego-validation.

    How so? – He proclaims a new atrocious doctrinal rule by fiat — turning the core purpose of the Disaster Act upside down in the process — and then abides by his own precedent in denigration and defiance of evolving circumstances, further auto-validating his prior lunacy.

    As for turning the Disaster Act on its head and using it to promote disease spread: Let us propose a new general purpose: Legislative Purpose Inversion.

    Abbott’s Supreme Court now has the opportunity to imbue the lunacy of the newly crowned “Commander in Chief” with aura of supreme wisdom. The unwashed masses may think that the emperor hath no clothes but they are just blinded by his brilliance.  

    Note that what we are forced to behold goes beyond the Orwellian practice of using antonyms to disguise the truth: as in calling the Ministry of War the Ministry of Love.

    PURPOSE INVERSION

    It’s worse than just mere rhetoric and repurposing of words to delude the plebes and control their minds. What we witness here is the invocation of emergency powers granted by statute to fight disasters to accomplish the opposite: to stop others from fighting the disaster. Not to mention the setting of precedent for distatorial one-man rule in the process.

    How much crazier can abuse of power get?

    One of the legal teams for the locals has a new metaphor: The Governor is prohibiting locals from throwing a drowning person a life line. (“Relator claims he is harmed  because the City is throwing a rope to a drowning man.”)

    So much for the uniform and orderly Loony State policy response that Abbott’s legal team urges the courts to validity and vindicate. 

    BIG LOCO to LITTLE LOCALS: Let them go down. Let them drown.  

    Come to think of it, the captain-of-the ship metaphor in Loony State v. Landlocked El Paso may prove prescient after all: Guv. Abbott as Captain Smith on the Titanic.

    Iceberg ahoy! … Full speed  ahead! 

  6. Jason Hochman says:

    J, the pandemic panic created the greatest wealth transfer in history,the destruction of many small businesses, and high unemployment, allowing people like Jeff Bezos to fly out into space for fun. Abbott and his cronies is only peanuts compared to the pandemic wealth transfer.

    Our definition of crazy stuff has been upended, by the unreality that passes for sanity. Such as, Trump is an authoritarian wannabe dictator. But Trump is bad because he didn’t take the power of ordering us all to stay at home and wear a mask. Or Governor Cuomo is a hero, doing everything a president should do. But Cuomo killed the nursing home people and molested women. We are told that wearing a mask is essential when we walk into a restaurant, but we take if off for two hours to eat, drink, chat, watch the game, but then, it is critical to put it on again for thirty seconds to walk out the door. We want to force kids to wear masks to school, even though the chances of kids dying of COVID are lower than their odds of being struck by lightning twice. I mean, if you can find sanity in all of this stuff that our Overlords tell us, please count me as crazy, thanks.

  7. Jason Hochman says:

    policy, I think that your post ignores the facts. The real disaster that needs to be fought is orienting our entire lives around responding to one medical condition. While other conditions are being ignored, and people are suffering from depression, anxiety, loneliness, substance abuse, domestic violence, academic decay, and other serious problems, the overlords want to focus us on one medical condition, and to invoke fear and panic in the public.

    Coercion and fear are not the basis for public health policy. It is up to us to make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.

  8. J says:

    Wealth inequality is here because rich people have been able to rewrite the rules and laws by purchasing politicians, the situation made worse by the Supreme Court with the disastrous Citizens United decision. They have learned from the Robber Baron era and use monopolies and union busting to continually increase their wealth and influence. The wealthy have always been able to exploit disasters, and the scale of disasters will continue to increase with more extreme weather due to global warming and more pandemics. What if we get a disease with 20% mortality, are the crazies still going to rail against masks and vaccinations? Probably. So we will have to do this over and over until the nuts are all dead, with a lot of innocents killed too.

    Let’s remember where all this crap is coming from. It is all about Republicans like Greg Abbott and his policy team deciding that these insane policies MAY help him some in his upcoming primary election. It doesn’t matter how many people die.

  9. Bill Daniels says:

    Wolf,

    Again, you write great prose, but direct your ire at the wrong side.

    Who would ever imagine that concepts like liberty and freedom are now labeled “atrocious?” How many Americans put their lives on the line for such concepts, both the tangible and intangible kind?

    Looney? Holding up mentally ill people, deviants, and the criminally minded as heroes? Not so long ago, we would all have considered that looney and subversive. Well, most of us, except the Frankfurt School devotees who plot in secret, of course.

    Jason,

    I couldn’t agree more. The restaurant example is both simple and compelling. Hey, why not just replace the children’s desks with restaurant tables, and it will then be safe for them to remove their face masks? I mean, that’s the kind of ‘logic’ being promulgated here. It’s all coordinated, just like the agit-prop war against HCQ and Ivermectin. The right people don’t benefit from inexpensive treatments, so they must be suppressed. If we have effective, inexpensive treatments, then profits are lost, control is lost, subjugation and forced compliance is dealt a blow.

  10. Jason Hochman says:

    J-I agree with a lot of what you posted, but you have to give the credit not to Abbott, but, rather to the duopoly that we have. The millionaires and billionaires control both parties. Yes they use disasters and other natural events to benefit themselves. It said so in the book Disaster Capitalism.

    Are there going to be more pandemics? I am sure that the disaster capitalists want us to think so. We have had several pandemics in the 20th century, but never had a world wide shutdown. You are correct, if there would be an illness with 20% mortality, what would we do, when we have used all of our weaponry to combat an illness with 0.2% mortality, and, that being mostly over 65 with other serious conditions.

    And what of global warming, could it be that they are exaggerating that threat as well? but now, they have seen that they have the power to order “climate shutdown” or “non-essential business that must close due to climate change.” The preachers of climate change don’t live it. On Sunday I was hitching up my bicycle at Memorial Park, and, I am almost sure that I saw my city councilman, Mrs. Kamin, drive past in a Giant Gas UV. Why not on her bike? Why did the Hollywood celebrities go off on Trump for wildfires while he was president? He didn’t cause the wildfires in his four years. They had been happening every summer and autumn for decades. And again, this year, the west coast is having wildfires. Why isn’t the TV blaming Biden? Where are the celebrities with rage? It’s the Big Lie at work.

  11. Fritz Kraut says:

    Betreff: Frankfurt School comment

    Sir, on a transatlantic and translinguistic note, in Frankfurt our German and third-country/international adolescents (including those with migration background) receive their preparatory education at the Gymnasium. Graduation will mark achievement of Hochschulreife (ripeness for admission to university).

    See, eg, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goethe-Gymnasium,_Frankfurt

    Higher schooling (teritiary education) is pursued at the Universitäten und Hochschulen (only literally “High Schools”).

    Yours truly,

    Mens sana in corpore sano