Texas Gov. Greg Abbott slams 'Biden's vaccine mandate,' defends 'right to choose' vaccination

Greg Abbott.
(Image credit: Sergio Flores/AFP/Getty Images)

Some people appreciated President Biden's "angry dad vibe" in Thursday's speech outlining his administration's new policies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, but there was one group that's just angry, specifically at the plan's push to ensure that about 100 million workers either get vaccinated or, in most cases, submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.

Several Republican governors and the Republican National Committee focused on Biden's order that companies with 100 workers or more require vaccines or weekly testing, calling it an "unconstitutional" and "dictatorial" overreach. Several of them threatened legal actions. Some of the GOP governors tweeted their support for getting vaccinated, but all opposed "mandates."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), for example, called "Biden's vaccine mandate" a "power grab," but he also raised some eyebrows by saying he supports "Texans' right to choose whether they get the COVID vaccine" injected in their bodies.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) also reiterated that he doesn't "support mandates of any kind," and said he opposes Biden's action because he's "concerned" about "them trying to force mandates on individuals and businesses." That is "a notable statement coming from DeSantis, who tried to place his own coronavirus restrictions on businesses by forbidding them from requiring vaccine passports," Marc Caputo writes at Politico. "DeSantis lost that fight in court. But his conservative base loved it. So he won by losing."

But Biden will similarly win from his sweeping new COVID-19 policies, especially with "conservatives howling that Biden overreached" and taking him to court, Caputo argued. "If and when Biden gets sued, those who oppose him will be easier to define as the problem to the president's solution. And if Biden loses in court, he'll almost surely win in the court of public opinion. That is, he'll win by losing in a country where more than 75 percent of the adult population has already received one shot." And if he wins in court? "Millions more could get vaccinated, greatly reducing deaths, hospitalizations, economic devastation, and perhaps even Biden's slide in the polls," he added. "That's winning by winning."

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us