Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) recently issued an executive order banning all government-mandated vaccine passports in the state.
"Every day Texans return to normalcy as more people get the COVID vaccine," Abbott said at the top of the announcement on Monday. He noted that this week, the Lone Star State "will surpass 13 million doses administered."
"Those shots help slow the spread of COVID, reduce hospitalizations, and reduce fatalities," he added.
"But, as I've said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced," Abbott asserted. "[The] government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives."
"That is why I have issued an executive order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas. We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans' personal freedoms," he concluded.
Abbott had recently come under fire for rescinding the state's mask mandate and a majority of the state's COVID-19 restrictions implemented early in the pandemic.
At the time, Abbot stressed that lifting the mandate "does not end personal responsibility."
Last month, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) similarly prohibited vaccine passports in his state.
On the other hand, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launching of the nation's first virtual COVID-19 passport in the state. The passport will be used in participating major venues and businesses.
On Monday, the Texas Rangers played in front of a sellout crowd of over 38,000 people for the 2021 opener without any COVID-19 restrictions in place, Fox 4 News reports.
It was the first time a professional sports event was held at full capacity since the start of the pandemic and the first home game for the team with fans inside the new Globe Life Field, which opened in 2020.
People were seen wearing masks and socially distancing in common areas, while concessions were cashless. Once the game kicked off, however, many fans in attendance took their masks off.
Health officials criticized the Ranger's decision to host a game at full capacity. President Joe Biden even commented on the decision calling it "not responsible".
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Alex Wong/Staff
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.