While Texas has so far been silent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced the Sunshine State flatly refuses to go along with the Biden-Harris administration’s vaccine passport plan, where Americans could face requirements to show proof of vaccination in order to participate in everyday life. Texans for Vaccine Choice is encouraging Gov. Greg Abbott to follow Florida’s lead.
This week, the administration of President Joe Biden announced it is working with private corporations to create “a standard for a vaccine passport” that could be implemented, with companies saying they’ll require verification of vaccination before reopening.
DeSantis responded by saying he would be taking “executive action” to resist, and he asked the Florida Legislature to help.
“It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society,” DeSantis stated.
“We are not supporting doing any vaccine passports in the state of Florida,” he said. “We need the Legislature to come in and just say this is not happening in Florida.”
Neither Gov. Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, or Speaker of the House Dade Phelan have responded to Biden’s plan, yet the threat to Texans is very real.
“Mandatory vaccination and vaccine tracking systems, such as vaccine passports, are an unfortunate reality of the future for all Americans if drastic measures are not swiftly implemented,” Jackie Schlegel, executive director of Texans for Vaccine Choice, told Texas Scorecard. “Texans will soon feel the direct impact in their daily lives as efforts to track, mandate, and discriminate against those who opt-out of medical procedures gain momentum.”
Schlegel adds that there are currently bills in the state Capitol that could help address this matter.
“In the hands of the Texas Legislature are numerous bills that would strengthen Texans’ rights to informed consent, medical privacy, and vaccine choice,” she said. “We encourage Gov. Abbott to work with the Legislature to make these bills a priority.”
TFVC’s website provides a list of such bills for citizens to review. Among them are Senate Bills 1310 and 1313 by State Sen. Bob Hall (R–Edgewood). TFVC says SB 1310 “defines informed consent to immunization,” while SB 1313 “protects religious beliefs against medical treatments during an emergency and ensures that any emergency-related quarantine is done in the least restrictive means possible and with due process.”
Both bills are scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Health & Human Services Committee on March 31.
“By passing legislation and joining efforts with governors such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, we will send a strong message to the Biden administration that Texas values its citizens’ rights and is committed to protecting them from this egregious form of government overreach,” Schlegel said.
She encourages Texans to visit the TFVC website to get more information on the organization’s efforts this legislative session.