Texas governor falsely claims vaccine mandates will shut down businesses

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A Department of Labor rule will require unvaccinated workers at large businesses to get tested regularly for the coronavirus.

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday accused President Joe Biden of shutting down businesses with his attempts to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

In a Fox News appearance, Abbott took aim at Biden's vaccine mandate, suggesting employers would have to close their doors due to an exodus of anti-vaccination workers:

President Biden's order, it will cause businesses maybe to shut down. I've seen a report that showed as many as 40% of workers may not show up to work if they're required to get a vaccine shot. That will cause employers not to be able to have the employees they need to run their businesses. So this is very dangerous for business.

The Republican Governors Association tweeted out a video of the Abbott's appearance and said, "Businesses across the country have been hit hard enough over the last year. @GregAbbott_TX knows the last thing Texans need are additional barriers to earn a living and provide for their families."

But contrary to Abbott's assertion, Biden is not forcing businesses to make workers get a COVID-19 vaccine. The Department of Labor rule, announced by Biden on Sept. 9, will "require all employers with 100 or more employees, that together employ over 80 million workers, to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week."

"Some of the biggest companies are already requiring this: United Airlines, Disney, Tysons Food, and even Fox News," Biden continued. "The bottom line: We're going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers. We're going to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by increasing the share of the workforce that is vaccinated in businesses all across America."

Any business, in Texas or elsewhere, will be able to require of its workers either proof of vaccination or of negative coronavirus test results every week.

While Abbott did not specify where his data came from, a Qualtrics study published in August found 44% of workers indicating they would consider leaving their current jobs if they were forced to get the vaccine. The same survey found that about 38% of workers would consider leaving their jobs if their employer did not require colleagues to get vaccinated.

An Abbott spokesperson did not immediately respond to an inquiry about whether he was concerned that the departures of that 38% might also force businesses to shut down.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.