Texas to sue over vaccine mandate for National Guard after requesting federal aid

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has announced that he intends to sue the federal government over its vaccine mandate for the Texas National Guard. This comes less than a week after the state requested more federal aid amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.  

"Unless President Joe Biden federalizes the Texas National Guard in accordance with Title 10 of the U.S. Code, he is not your commander-in-chief under our federal or state Constitutions," Abbott said in his Jan. 4 letter to the Texas Military Department. "And as long as I am your commander-in-chief, I will not tolerate efforts to compel receipt of a COVID19 vaccine."

Abbott then goes on to acknowledge in his letter that National Guardsmen who refuse to be vaccinated against COVID-19 won’t be eligible for any federal training or pay, which includes monthly drill weekends, per a memo signed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

"The Biden DoD has asserted that it can cut off the flow of federal dollars and retirement benefits to unvaccinated guardsmen, by barring their participation in drills, training, and other duties conducted under Title 32," Abbott wrote. "It has also warned that unvaccinated guardsmen will be discharged from the Texas National Guard. In short, the Biden DoD is threatening to take direct action against guardsmen who do not submit to a vaccine mandate that the State of Texas declines to enforce."

On Dec. 31, Abbott requested federal aid for increased COVID-19 testing and treatment following reports that the state is running low on the antibody treatment that has proved most effective against the omicron variant

Abbott called on the Biden administration "to step up in this fight and provide the resources necessary to help protect Texans" in a press release about the request for federal aid. 

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