Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis intends to challenge federal vaccine mandates. Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo 'I am offended': DeSantis vows to sue Biden over vaccine mandates
TALLAHASSEE Governor Ron DeSantis launched a multimillion-dollar fight against vaccine mandates and took the fight to Biden on Thursday.
According to the GOP governor, Florida will contest in federal court and through legislation all vaccine mandates placed upon employers or other individuals by President Joe Biden. DeSantis remarks follow those made by Texas Republican Governor. Greg Abbott, who banned vaccinations in his state earlier this week, made similar comments.
DeSantis stated during a Fort Myers news conference that Biden should not be allowed to effectively threaten to remove the jobs of those who have worked hard through this pandemic. It is offensive that a police officer might lose their job.
Biden announced in September that he would issue the mandate for vaccines to federal workers and businesses with over 100 employees through the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. DeSantis, a Republican who believes vaccination should be a personal choice, and that people who are naturally immune to Covid-19 should not be subject to the mandate, criticized the plans.
DeSantis stated that he believes it is fundamentally wrong to take people's jobs away, especially given the economic conditions we are currently facing.
DeSantis consistently rejects Covid-related restrictions such as vaccine passports, mask mandates, and lockdowns. DeSantis has been waging a long-running dispute with school districts who have defied his order to ban mask mandates. He also docked the salaries of school officials who implemented mask requirements without a parent opt-out policy. This fight also saw the Biden administration bringing in more than $500,000 in financial aid to school officials.
DeSantis' Florida Department of Health recently issued a $3.57million fine against Leon County. This was after hundreds of Leon County workers were required to receive vaccines. 14 people refused to receive the shot were fired by the county. On Tuesday, Leon County Attorney Chasity o'Steen stated that the county has until November 5 to pay the fine and is ready to defend the mandate.
The Delta variant spread throughout Florida during the summer, making Florida a hotbed of new infections. The state was responsible for 1 in 5 coronavirus-related infections in the country at one time. Florida's Covid-19 death rates were 27th in the country before the summer surge. However, they rose to the 10th highest after the surge according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
DeSantis is considering a presidential bid in 2024. He said that lawsuits against federal vaccine mandates based in Florida will be filed at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. He also mentioned the Texas ban, which is being challenged in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Many cities and school districts in Florida have accepted the orders of the governor. After facing threats by DeSantis, Gainesville reversed its mandate to vacate last month. More than 100 employees also filed a lawsuit against Gainesville in state circuit court. DeSantis claimed that some city police officers were in danger of being fired.
DeSantis stated that they were not allowed to work remotely, and they weren't allowed to Zoom in to help us. They were there all the time.