Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (pictured) has called a special legislative session in which lawmakers will try to effectively outlaw vaccine mandates (whether they are imposed by private businesses or local governments) throughout the state. In particular, the session will likely revolve around the discussion of four bills that would increase the fines on companies and government agencies which introduce mandatory vaccination measures. The Guardian has more.
The special legislative session will be about “a combination of policy and politics”, said Aubrey Jewett, a Political Science Professor at the University of Central Florida, adding that DeSantis is following Trump’s lead in being staunchly against mask and vaccine mandates.
According to an agenda released by the Governor’s office, a body of legislators dominated by Republicans will consider four bills to impose penalties on businesses and local governments that require workers to be vaccinated against Covid.
“No cop, no firefighter, no nurse, nobody should be losing their job because of these jabs,” DeSantis said in a media release, echoing a previous plea for first responders from other states to relocate to Florida if they do not wish to be vaccinated by mandate.
“We’re going to be striking a blow for freedom,” DeSantis said.
Resistance to vaccine mandates and other public health measures to combat Covid has spread in Republican states and among Republican politicians using it to buttress their pro-Trump bona fides and attack the Biden administration.
By Sunday, the U.S. had recorded nearly 763,000 deaths from Covid, out of more than 47 million cases. Florida has recorded the third-highest state death toll, with more than 62,600, behind only California and Texas. Around 58% of the population is fully vaccinated.
On Friday, a conservative federal court in New Orleans refused to lift a stay it imposed on a Biden administration rule which says businesses with 100 or more employees must insist on vaccinations or masks and regular testing from January 4th.
The administration has said it is confident the rule is legal and will ultimately prevail.
DeSantis has railed against vaccine mandates but is vaccinated himself, according to media reports.
Worth reading in full.