On Friday, several companies put their hands up and said they would require their employees to be vaccinated. As the New York Times reported, the list of companies dropping mandates included some big names. Names like Walmart and Disney. Those are two names that might be especially fun for certain red state governors who have made it a point of honor for being the most unreasonable.
Disney has already shown it is ready to show the giant Mickey nose to the Florida government, Ron DeSantis. When it comes to state legislation, however, the House of Mouse doesn't really have to worry – the state created a giant Disney-shaped exception when it urged companies to pretend the pandemic was over.
There is no such exception for Walmart, although the Walmart news is not as big as it might sound. Because the company is actually only moving to protect employees in its corporate offices and managers who travel between branches. The actual Walmart employees in your area will continue to be treated as disposable items that are easier to refill than the aisle with toilet paper. As always. So the Walmart problem is actually going to fall on the shoulders of Governor Asa Hutchinson, and there is nothing more reliable than for Republican officials in Arkansas to do what Bentonville tells them to do.
The DOJ's decision that local governments and corporations made vaccination regulations legal opened the floodgates this week. As the Wall Street Journal reports, several Wall Street banks have instructed their employees to take the trick. Some of these companies, like Citigroup, are following the revised CDC guidelines requiring everyone to wear masks in the office regardless of vaccination status. On the big tech page, Google and Facebook have also announced that all employees at their US locations will need to be vaccinated.
Businesses are not alone; Some universities and private schools announce that all employees will be vaccinated. As reported by the Lansing State Journal, Michigan State University requires vaccinations for all staff and students when classes begin on September 1. In addition, everyone must wear a mask indoors. That The California State University system also announced that vaccination is required for all faculty, staff, and students taking personal courses.
What is not happening is a federal mandate that would force every American to get vaccinated, regardless of how it is reported in the National Review. CDC director Rochelle Walensky has already made it clear that she was talking about a mandate for federal employees and contractors, not a federal vaccine corps marching to every door in America. And that of course means that Republicans are dropping this claim, which has already exploded in right-wing media (spoiler alert: they won't).
Republicans are already working hard on the unreasonable response. Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin are trying to forestall the university there by preventing it from introducing requirements for vaccinations, masking, or even testing, the Associate Press reports. Take that, student safety! As The Guardian notes, the Republican Party of Oklahoma did not hesitate to whip out and compare its Nazi metaphors COVID-19 vaccine mandates "for the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany". This included placing a yellow Star of David on the party's official Facebook page and calling for a special session of the state legislature to pass bills that would break the ban Employers forbid asking for a vaccination.
But Texas is, as always, ahead of the unreasonable curve. As NBC reports, Governor Greg Abbott was quick to respond to the new CDC guidelines that suggested that children wear masks in school and that everyone wear masks in COVID-19 hotspots (including the entire Lone Star State). Abbott soon repealed an executive order preventing schools from requiring either vaccinations or masks. This executive order ends with the claim that it was made to "provide clarity and consistency in the Lone Star State's ongoing fight against COVID-19."
When Abbott's command tries to say that Texans will not fight at all and intend to passively turn their children over to the virus – sure, that is clear. And it fits into Texas's founding tradition of pointlessly killing people in narrow-minded confrontations preferred by white racists.
Texas had over 13,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, surpassed only by the over 17,000 in Florida. Both states are now back to where they were in February, with cases still rising. Perhaps both Abbott and DeSantis think the winning team is to be on the side of the virus.
Maybe you want to think again.