Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an executive order banning the use of the much-talked about COVID-19 vaccine passports in his state to protect people's "personal freedoms."
"Texans shouldn't be required to show proof of vaccination & reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives. I issued an Executive Order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas. Don't tread on our personal freedoms," Abbott tweeted Tuesday.
The post included Abbott's 63-second video message explaining the purpose of the executive order and followed by another tweet containing the succeeding part of his video message.
Unlike New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who launched last week of March the Excelsior Pass, Abbott have shown faith in his administration's vaccination program that is estimated to "surpass 13 million doses administered" despite stressing "these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced."
"Every day Texans return to normalcy as more people get the COVID vaccine. Those shots help slow the spread of COVID, reduce hospitalizations, and reduce fatalities. Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives," he said in the video.
"That is why I have issued an executive order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas," he pointed out. "We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health-- and we will do so without treading on Texans' personal freedoms."
Texans shouldn't be required to show proof of vaccination & reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives.
I issued an Executive Order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas.
Don't tread on our personal freedoms. pic.twitter.com/weTbz4FKyH
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) April 6, 2021
The Christian Headlines reported that Abbott had come under fire recently for removing the mask mandate in Texas last month which gave locals the freedom to exercise "personal responsibility" considering the pandemic. The media outlet cited that a massive gathering was held on Monday for the 2021 opener of the Texas Rangers game at the Globe Life Field where 38,000 people gathered and were seen to initially wear mask that were removed later in the game.
As Christianity Daily reported previously, the removal of the mask mandate in Texas was alongside the opening of businesses to 100% occupancy. This announcement, as per Abbott, relied in the responsibility of Texans to implement "safe practices" learned during the pandemic.
The governor actually mulled the idea of removing the mask mandate as early as February of this year. He further explained, as per the state's website, that the removal of the mask mandate was, in good faith, factoring in the efficacy of the vaccines and the speed of its administration in Texas.
Abbott, named the 2020 Best Governor in the Nation, has also announced the opening of new Federally Supported Community Vaccination Centers in three counties: Arlington, Dallas, and Houston, which makes a total of six as of date.
The first three pilot sites are based at the E Sports Stadium, Fair Park, and NRG Stadium which is in partnership with the federal government being operated by personnel of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The new sites along with the original ones will extend operation until May 18 to ensure continuous COVID-19 vaccination efforts in Texas.
"Expanding COVID-19 vaccinations across the state until every Texan who wants one will be able to get one," is part of the governor's initiatives for a "Healthier Texas" along with "permanently expanding telemedicine."