NEWBERRY, Fla. — Standing firm in the face of the Biden Administration, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Monday announced that all Sunshine State counties and cities that require the COVID-19 vaccine be administered to public employees will be subject to a $5,000 fine.
DeSantis spoke in Alachua County and said that government agencies could face penalties of up to millions of dollars.
“We are going to stand for the men & women who serve us. We are gonna protect Florida jobs,” DeSantis said. “We will not allow people to be fired because of a mandate for vaccines.”
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The governor’s firm anti-mandate stance is another defiant shot at President Joe Biden, who just last week announced the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated, or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.
DeSantis on Monday said any government agency that forces its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is breaking the newly passed SB 2006.
The governor said the law, which bans private businesses from requiring customers to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination — also known as “vaccine passports” — applies to government agencies as well.
DeSantis explained that it is not acceptable to ignore people who have been faithfully serving over this issue, as it is a personal choice for their health. These people cannot be ignored. Their jobs must not be destroyed.
However, a closer look at the language of the law doesn’t specifically mention anything about vaccine requirements for government employees, only customers who do business at government facilities:
“A governmental entity as defined in s. 768.38 may not require persons to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-infection recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the governmental entity’s operations in this state. This subsection does not restrict government entities from establishing screening protocols compatible with authoritative or controlling guidance issued by the government to protect public health.
According to the White House, Biden’s vaccine mandate would affect more than 80 millions workers in the private sector.
In a public speech last Thursday, President Biden stated that COVID-19 is responsible for the current “pandemic” of unvaccinated.
What more can we expect? What do you want to see more of? Biden asked the question as he praised the safety of the vaccines.
Biden said that his plan would ensure that the U.S. uses every tool possible to fight the coronavirus, save lives in the months ahead, as well as keeping schools open and safe, and protecting the economy against lockdowns and other damage.
Speaking in Ponte Vedra Beach last Friday, DeSantis said Biden is “acting outside the bounds of the Constitution” by issuing the vaccine directive.
The governor said he would work with the Florida Legislature, and hinted that he may pursue legal action in order to provide protections to Floridians.