Texas Gov Tells Defense Secretary No On Vax Mandate For National Guard

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) says he will not impose a federal vaccine mandate on members of the Texas National Guard, despite warnings from the Department of Defense of consequences for guard members who remain unvaccinated without an exemption.

Abbott’s office said the governor sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Thursday “reaffirming that the State of Texas will not impose the Biden Administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on members of the Texas National Guard.”

That doesn’t mean, however, members of the Texas National Guard won’t face consequences for remaining unvaccinated.

In November Secretary Austin laid out the consequences for service members who refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19. An NBC News report said Austin’s memo indicated they would face loss of pay and be marked absent without cause from drills and training.