Fox News anchor Chris Wallace during an interview on "Fox News Sunday," told Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that his position on COVID vaccine mandates was "not consistent."
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace during an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” told Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that his position on COVID vaccine mandates was “not consistent.”
Wallace asked, “You say Texas companies should take care of their own workers so, given that, how do you justify the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, issuing an executive order that bans any business in Texas from issuing a vaccine mandate and how do you justify the governor issuing a ban on all school districts on mask mandates, a ban that was overturned just this week by a federal judge?”
Paxton said, “So I justify it by the governor has the authority under state law in an emergency. And so he has done just that. Obviously, it’s his view that these mask mandates are unnecessary and that vaccine requirements are also unnecessary so it’s my job as the state’s attorney to go defend what he’s done and what the legislature has done and I’m perfectly comfortable doing that.”
Wallace said, “You said that Texas companies should take care of their own workers. Is that consistent with the governor’s executive order and your enforcement of that order, which bans companies from taking care of their own workers as they see fit?”
Paxton said, “What I was trying to say in the clip is that the president does not have the authority to force companies. Obviously we have a stay in the Fifth Circuit to stop them from forcing companies to require workers from getting the vaccine or fired. What I’m saying to these companies is you don’t have to listen to him because he’s out there saying that you should do it anyway despite the fact that we have a stay from a higher court.”
Wallace said, “Yeah, but you said that the businesses should take care of their own workers and the governor is saying they can’t take care of their own workers as they see fit. They’re prohibited from deciding, if they so choose, to issue a vaccine mandate. That’s not consistent.”
Paxton said, “We’re dealing with different types of requirements here. We’ve got state government requirements. So it’s clear that the governor has a different executive order for them. We’ve been in all types of litigation with school districts and counties, trying to stop them from forcing mandates in San Antonio and vaccines and we’ve been successful. We’ve no lawsuits against businesses and there’s a lot more freedom with businesses to make their own decisions. What I would say is that they should consider their employees because we are in a situation right now with the economy where we cannot to lose transportation employees or health care workers or law enforcement officers. That’s happening all over the country. It’s going to have a negative impact on our economy and our ability to help people.”
Wallace said, “I just want to go through this one more time. You’re saying that they should have the authority and the ability to decide what their workers should do. The governor’s executive order prohibits them from deciding what they want to do. He bans vaccine mandates. Isn’t a mandate by the federal government — are you saying there is a different from a mandate to get a vaccine from the federal government is different in terms of the ability to take care of their own from a state mandate not t have vaccine mandates?
Paxton said, “I think your question is a little confusing. But yes, the federal government has no authority to do this. Right now, we have OSHA guidelines that have not been authorized by the Congress. They absolutely have no authority to do this. The governor has a different authority under state law that the legislature has given him and he’s operating under that state law.”
Wallace interrupted, “So he can tell private businesses what to do? It’s OK and they can’t take care of their own?”
Paxton said, “I definitely agree that states have more authority over these areas than the federal government.”
He added, “And I would even question whether Congress has the authority.”
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