AUSTIN, Texas — It’s been more than three weeks since Gov. Greg Abbott doubled down on his executive order banning schools and local authorities from taking action to keep Texans safe, and since then, the situation has become increasingly dire. COVID-19 levels in Texas schools are significantly higher than they were a year ago, kids are making up 18% of new COVID-19 cases, and the governor himself has contracted COVID-19 — yet Abbott continues to refuse to rescind the order and allow key COVID safety protocols in Texas schools.
However, as our failed and flailing governor once again leaves Texas kids to die, Texas Democrats are welcoming President Biden’s leadership to combat Abbott’s irresponsible and dangerous policies. As the Delta variant ravages communities across the country, President Biden announced earlier this week that he will impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate, effective next month, for all nursing home staff in order for the facilities to continue receiving Medicare and Medicaid funding. The President also recently required all federal employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and has encouraged and publicly celebrated companies and entities who have done the same.
A majority of Americans — 64 percent — approve of vaccine mandates to get the coronavirus under control, although Republicans broadly oppose such measures to improve public health and safety. Texas Democrats are applauding President Biden’s news, as well as his announcement of potential legal interventions in situations where state leaders — like Gov. Greg Abbott — are putting kids in danger.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“We applaud President Biden for showing true leadership and strength to protect the lives of every American, especially those most vulnerable among us, our kids and our seniors. The President is following proven, scientifically-backed methods to curb the spread of this virus and get America back on track in the long run. But to beat back this pandemic, and help our communities recover after an incredibly challenging year and a half, we need everyone to do their part.
“In the face of Greg Abbott’s insistence on playing politics with our lives, local leaders across Texas have taken important steps to keep our communities safe. I commend their efforts, and I continue to call on Republican leaders to join Democrats in encouraging everyone to take this virus seriously and get vaccinated. As the President has consistently said, we are all in this together and we must get out of this together.”