Southwest Airlines plane
Credit: Courtesy of Southwest

Southwest and American Airlines, both based out of Texas, said they'd still mandate COVID-19 vaccines a day after Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order banning any entity from requiring the vaccine.

"We're reviewing all guidance issued on the vaccine and are aware of the recent Order by Governor Abbott. According to the President's Executive Order, federal action supersedes any state mandate or law, and we would be expected to comply with the President's Order to remain compliant as a federal contractor," Southwest spokesperson Brandy King said in a statement to Insider. "We will continue to follow all Orders closely and keep our Employees updated on any potential changes to existing policies."King was referencing a requirement issued by President Joe Biden's administration last month that requires federal contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by December 8. 

In a statement to Insider, an American Airlines representative said they're also reviewing Abbott's executive order, but for now they "believe the federal vaccine mandate supersedes any conflicting state laws, and this does not change anything for American."

On Monday, Abbott called on the state legislature to pass a law banning any entity, including private businesses, from imposing COVID-19 vaccine requirements. 

In a press briefing on Tuesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Abbott's executive order and those like it "fit a familiar pattern that we've seen of putting politics ahead of public health."

Psaki said the administration intends to "implement and continue to work to implement" vaccine requirement "across the country, including in the states where there are attempts to oppose them."

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