RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has sais he will fine any government agency that imposes the Covid vaccine as a condition of employment. Ignoring natural immunity suggests that vaccine mandates are about control, not public health.
“We are not going to allow people to be fired because of a vaccine mandate,” DeSantis told a crowd in Gainesville on Monday, flanked by public-sector workers threatened with layoffs unless they submitted to the mandate. “If a government agency in the state of Florida imposes a vaccine as a condition of employment, that violates Florida law, and you will face a US$5,000 fine for each violation.”
Florida has worked hard to make Covid-19 vaccines “available to everyone but mandatory for no one,” the Republican governor argued and said it was “fundamentally wrong” to get rid of first responders and other front-line workers who had been hailed as heroes until recently.
After a firefighter recovered from the virus, DeSantis noted that vaccine mandates do not provide natural immunity conferred by infection.
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“It’s not about science,” he said. “I don’t support the mandates at all, but if you’re following mandates based on this, if you’re really following the science, you would recognize this natural immunity. And, instead, they ignore it.”
DeSantis added that mandates appear to have less to do with medical issues than government power and control. He called their imposition in the United States “very intrusive, and I think illegal.”
DESANTIS: "If a government agency in the state of Florida forces a vaccine as a condition of employment, that violates Florida law and you will face a $5,000 fine for every single violation." pic.twitter.com/hnBCplDMKO
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 13, 2021
Last Thursday, President Joe Biden announced he would use federal regulator OSHA to require businesses with 100 or more employees to order vaccines as part of a strategy to “reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans.”
“We have been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and their refusal has cost us all,” the president said. The mandate has faced widespread opposition from Republicans, and two dozen states have said they would take legal action against it.
Several public employees spoke at the same event with DeSantis, noting that they are forced to retire for refusing to vaccinate. Everyone who requested an exemption from the mandate was denied in Gainesville, said one city worker and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, who concluded his remarks with, “My body, my choice, it’s nobody else’s business. I will not comply.”
Today, Florida took a good first step by banning public sector employee vaccine mandates (12% of workforce)
NOW it’s time to protect medical freedom in the private sector (the great majority of Florida workers—88%)
We need to BAN woke corporate employee vaccine mandates NOW!
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) September 13, 2021
Anthony Sabatini, a Republican state lawmaker who will run for Congress in 2022, argued Monday that banning public-sector vaccine mandates is good but doesn’t go far enough. Republicans, he said, should also block corporate mandates and protect 88% of the state’s workforce; otherwise, they will have created a special carve-out for government “while all private-sector workers are left behind and screwed.”
DeSantis has already banned Florida school districts from imposing facemask mandates and won an appeal against a district judge who tried to block it.
However, Biden has promised that the federal government will compensate any school officials whose pay DeSantis withholds because of the mandate. The Justice Department opposes the ban because it violates the rights of students with disabilities.