HOUSTON - The debate continues over who has authority to require Covid-19 vaccines, as Governor Greg Abbott issued a new executive order banning all entities in the state from enforcing President Biden’s mandate.
"We call it the conditional rally, we are here to oppose the Biden executive order for this vaccine mandate," said Sophia Mao Smith, Organizer of the Constitutional Rights Rally.
The group of NASA employees, both civil servants and contractors, gathered outside of the campus Tuesday in opposition to President Biden’s Federal Mandate, which requires companies with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus.
"We are not anti- vaxxers, I want to make it very clear, there are three people in our group that are vaccinated but they joined the group because they believe it should be an individual choice," said Smith.
This debate goes back to the Trump Administration and when the U.S. was in the middle of the pandemic, when private companies and businesses started to require employees to vaccinate.
Houston Methodist, was one of the first, and Jennifer Bridges, now a former employee, was the face and voice of opposition. She supports Governor Abbott’s executive order.
"We need to protect our Texans right now, so they don’t get fired," said Bridges. "We already got fired, of course, but there are thousands in the next couple of months that are about to lose their jobs."
Houston Methodist is doubling down on their decision, saying in a statement Tuesday:
"As the first hospital system in the country to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for employees and physicians, we are deeply disappointed in the governor's order that tries to prohibit such mandates."
Charles Adams, an attorney and former judge, believes the new order could be locally enforced, but is more of a political move.
"It’s the big argument between federal and state," said Adams. "I think the governor knows that he is absolutely preemptive by the Biden’s regulation, we have something called the supremacy law in the constitution."