10 things you need to know today: October 12, 2021

Texas governor orders businesses not to require vaccinations, 2 die as plane crashes in California neighborhood, and more

Greg Abbott
(Image credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

1. Texas governor orders businesses not to mandate vaccinations

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Monday issued an executive order barring any entity in the state, including private businesses, from mandating coronavirus vaccinations for employees or customers. In August, Abbott ordered Texas government bodies and agencies not to require vaccinations, but said he had no intention to tell executives and entrepreneurs how to run their businesses. But he reversed that position after facing weeks of pressure from GOP primary opponents and others on the right who staunchly oppose President Biden's September decision to require all companies with more than 100 employees to mandate vaccines for workers or test them weekly for coronavirus infections. "The COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, & our best defense against the virus, but should always remain voluntary & never forced," Abbott tweeted as he announced his new order.

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.