Gov. Abbott plans to sue Biden administration over DoD vaccine mandate – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

After saying last month that he would not impose a federal vaccine mandate on members of the Texas National Guard, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) now says he intends to sue the Biden administration over the directive.

On Tuesday, Abbott’s office said he sent a letter to Major General Tracy Norris with the Texas Military Department announcing his intention to sue, while reaffirming his position that members of the Texas Army National Guard and Texas Air National Guard should not punished. for having chosen not to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The governor said in his letter that he is the commander-in-chief of the Texas militia, not the president, and as such “he will not tolerate efforts to force the receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine.”

“Unless President Biden federalizes the Texas National Guard in accordance with Title 10 of the U.S. Code, he is not your commander-in-chief under our federal or state constitutions,” Abbott wrote.

In November 2021, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin outlined the consequences for service members who refused to be vaccinated against COVID-19, including members of the National Guard. An NBC News report said Austin’s note indicated that they would face loss of pay and be marked absent without cause from exercises and training.

Meanwhile, a Texas federal judge on Monday issued a preliminary injunction stopping the U.S. Navy from acting against 35 sailors for religious reasons for refusing to comply with an order to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The campaign for Democrat Beto O’Rourke, who is running for Texas governor, said Abbott is fighting for vaccination demands while blocking local leaders from protecting their communities from the rise in the omicron variant of the virus.

“As Abbott boasts of preventing schools from requiring classroom masks, Texas is leading the country at the head of Covid hospital admissions. If he does not want to intervene, he needs to get out of the way and allow schools and local leaders to keep children safe, “O’Rourke said in a statement Tuesday.” Covid hospital admissions in Texas have doubled in the past two weeks. They have tripled among children. We are sending more children to the emergency room than any other state because Abbott refuses to lead. “

The positivity index, the percentage of PCR COVID-19 tests that are positive, hit a pandemic high in Texas on Monday with 33.9%.

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