AUSTIN (KXAN) — After Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order Monday night which stated ‘no entity in Texas’ could mandate a COVID-19 vaccine among its employees, Austin Mayor Steve Adler shared his concerns about the order during a joint Austin City Council, Travis County Commissioners Court meeting Tuesday.
In front of both bodies and local health experts, Adler ended the meeting saying he was confused by the order, and he felt it was inconsistent with Abbott’s previous policies.
Adler: “I’m still real confused by the governor’s order, GA-40, yesterday, that gives directions to private businesses about what they can do in their establishments. I mean, it just seems to me to be really anti-business and a real limitation of the freedoms and liberties for someone to say in my own private business, just like I require people to wear shoes… to say to businesses that you can’t do that to protect their employees or their customers, and then let customers and employees decide if that’s a place they want to work in, I just don’t understand it, and it just seems to be really inconsistent with so much as I’ve heard in the past, the principals espoused by the governor and the leadership.”
Adler also noted to the body the order did not ban testing mandates.
Those remarks came on the same day Republican Sen. Ted Cruz responded to reporters’ questions about the mandate. He said in part:
“I am glad Gov. Abbott is standing up and leading on this issue. You know, my views are simple, I think vaccines are good, I’ve been vaccinated, my family’s been vaccinated, I certainly encourage people to get the vaccine, but I also believe in individual responsibility and individual freedom. It ought to to be your choice, the health care decisions you make, you oughta be able to talk to your doctor and make a decision for yourself, and there shouldn’t be mandates. I think Joe Biden and the federal government trying to force people to get vaccinated against their wishes is wrong, and I think it’s a violation of medical privacy, and I think it’s really unfair.”
President Biden recently announced companies of a certain size would need to require employees to get vaccinated or test them weekly.
KXAN has reached out to Gov. Abbott’s office for a response to Mayor Adler’s comments and will update this article when we hear back.