Austin area businesses react to Biden vaccine mandate

Under a new order from President Biden, businesses nationwide with 10

0 or more employees must mandate vaccinations or weekly testing. 

"It would easily affect hundreds of thousands of Texans," said Glenn Hamer, president, and CEO of the Texas Association of Business.

Since the announcement, he said he has been fielding questions and concerns from business owners. While he says Texas business owners overwhelmingly want employees to be vaccinated, President Biden has overstepped by making it mandatory.

"We don’t need the federal government coming in with some sort of half-baked, untested, probably illegal effort to require vaccinations," said Hamer. "That’s just going to politicize and throw further confusion in an area that we need to bring Americans together on."

At the Elephant Room, music manager Michael Mordecai said he doesn’t disagree with the federal order. However, they have less than 100 employees and will not require vaccinations, though they will strongly encourage them.

He also voiced frustration over the politicizing of the issue.

"When I was 14 years old and the Surgeon General of the U.S. said cigarette smoking could be hazardous to your health, nobody had to tell me twice, there was trust in the Surgeon General at that time," said Mordecai. "It’s sad now that the country is so divided and that this is a political football."

After President Biden’s announcement, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the move "an egregious, tyrannical power grab" and said in a tweet that he’ll "be suing this disastrous Admin very soon." 

Governor Abbott said in a tweet that "Texas is already working to halt this power grab" and mentioned that the issue will be taken up during the upcoming special session.

"The message coming out of the White House and the message coming out of the Governor's Office is confusing and made us just want to stay focused on things we could control," said Mordecai. For now, they’ve kept their doors closed and are working on various repairs and upgrades to the venue.

The plan released by President Biden also requires "COVID-⁠19 Vaccinations for Over 17 Million Health Care Workers at Medicare and Medicaid Participating Hospitals and Other Health Care Settings."

Currently, Ascension Seton Medical Center and Baylor, Scott & White Health already require their employees to be vaccinated

In a statement provided to FOX 7, a spokesperson for St. David’s HealthCare said the following:

"We will review the details of President Biden’s plan and respond accordingly. St. David’s HealthCare helps to ensure a safe environment by following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and our infectious disease experts have been strongly encouraging vaccination as a critical step to protect individuals from the virus. Additionally, our hospitals follow the guidance outlined by the CDC regarding protocols for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in our facilities, including universal masking for all colleagues, patients, and visitors."


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