On October 11th, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning any entity in Texas, including private businesses, from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for employees or customers.
President Biden however has requested that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) develop rules requiring all employers with 100+ employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly.
Both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines are based in Texas. They will now have to choose to either follow United Airlines and other major air carriers in compliance with the proposed federal rules or answer to the governor of their home state of Texas. *American Airlines and Southwest Airlines announced late Tuesday they would not comply with the governor’s order.
President Biden’s plans also require health care employers to mandate worker vaccinations at facilities that treat patients with public health insurance. Facilities that don’t comply risk losing federal reimbursement – a sticky wicket to say the least.
So far, 21 states, all with Republican Governors have enacted laws or issued executive orders banning proof of vaccination requirements.
A State order prohibiting a private business from complying with the Federal governments’ rules puts those businesses between a rock and a very hard place.
With no consistent rule of law, these businesses face the ire and wrath from a very passionate public that will no doubt come at them from all sides of the argument.
To be clear this is an argument and not a debate. COVID is real. Vaccines greatly reduce the negative health impacts of COVID. States with higher vaccination rates have lower COVID infection and death rates. These are the facts and no YouTube video is qualified to dispute them.
Ultimately the courts will decide that federal law, rules, and executive orders will preempt any conflicting state law or executive order. Trust me on this one. I’ve some experience with preemption law.
Whether the various Governors, State legislators, members of Congress, or the general public will choose to respect, honor, and trust the courts’ decision is another matter.
It’s all very unsettling and some would say, downright destabilizing. Still others would say it’s all part of a grand plan that will result in a “strong man” (read – oligarch, narcissist, compulsive liar, who denies losing his most recent election) stepping up to lead (read control) the country, crackdown on the craziness, and bring order, peace, and safety (read fascism) to America.
I prefer to believe that rather than some complex plan being orchestrated by smart rich people somehow connected to the Illuminati – what’s going on today is simply politics on steroids. Like an out-of-control car hurtling down a mountain road without brakes. The speed of the car just continues to increase and no one knows what’s around the next corner.
As simple and basic as it sounds, the answer here in the islands is to think global and act local. Focusing here locally to increase affordable housing, protect our natural environment, increase local food production, become energy self-sufficient, and in general support local residents – is our answer.
Fortunately, we have the Pacific Ocean to protect us from the madness occurring now on the continent. We should be thankful as well that our government leaders have so far anyway, not drank the Kool-Aid offered by the far-right, and operate from a space that is calm and thoughtful.
We might not always agree with our Mayor and Governor, but it’s clear their decisions are based on what they truly believe is best for our community, and not driven by ego, arrogance, or concerns about the next election.
Yes. Lucky we live Hawai’i. Let’s keep it that way.