- On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott banned any entity from introducing COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
- Two major airlines, American Airlines and Southwest, are headquartered in Texas.
- On Tuesday, both airlines said they would still require COVID-19 vaccines.
Southwest and American Airlines, both based in Texas, said they would still have a mandate for COVID-19 vaccines a day after Governor Greg Abbott signed a decree banning any entity from requiring the vaccine.
“We review all instructions issued on the vaccine and are familiar with the latest order from Governor Abbott. According to the President’s Decree, federal action replaces any state mandate or law and we are expected to abide by the President’s order to remain compatible as a federal contractor,” said a Southwest spokesman. , Brandy King, in a statement to Insider. “We will continue to follow all orders closely and keep our employees up to date on any changes to existing policies.”
King referred to a demand issued by President Joe Biden’s administration last month requiring federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8.
In a statement to Insider, a representative of American Airlines said that they are also reviewing Abbott’s executive order, but for the time being, they believe the federal vaccination mandate replaces any conflicting state legislation, and that does not change anything for Americans.
On Monday, Abbott called on state lawmakers to pass a law banning any entity, including private companies, from imposing COVID-19 vaccine requirements.
At a press conference on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Abbott’s ordinance and those like it “fit a familiar pattern that we have seen about putting politics before public health.”
Psaki said the administration intends to “implement and continue to work to implement” vaccine requirements “across the country, including in those states where there are attempts to oppose them.”