Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) reiterated this week that businesses asking for proof of vaccination or government agencies mandating vaccination for employees would receive a $5,000 fine per violation.
Earlier this month, he said "the theory behind the vaccine passport" is to force everyone to have it to live in society, "then you'll be able to just nuke COVID."
"We know that that's not the case," DeSantis continued. "You know, with very high vaccination rates, you still have big waves. So it just doesn't make any sense."
DeSantis signed a bill in May allowing "the state to issue fines beginning September 16 if people are asked to show proof they have received a COVID-19 vaccine before being allowed in businesses, schools, or government buildings," reported Daily Wire. According to the legislation, businesses, government agencies, and schools in the state of Florida will be fined $5,000 "per individual and separate violation."
"Those who violate the rule will be issued a notice of the infraction and have a chance to appeal the fine," but "if the appeal fails, the fine must be paid within 30 days."
"We are going to stand for the men and women who are serving us. We are going to protect Florida jobs," said the governor. "We are not going to let people be fired because of a vaccine mandate."
DeSantis’ response is retaliation to an executive order signed by US President Joe Biden mandating COVID-19 vaccinations among all federal workers and contractors in the executive branch, except for Congress, reported Fox News.
The president also said companies with 100 or more employees must mandate vaccines or weekly COVID-19 testing under a future emergency order by the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This would apply to more than 80 million private-sector workers. Companies that fail to comply could face up to $14,000 in fines.
DeSantis, a leader in vaccination accessibility, recently blasted Biden for indicating he would mandate vaccinations for all federal employees — with some exemptions — and force private businesses to require vaccination against COVID-19, too.
"These mandates, this is not about science — because if it were about science, you would recognize the infection conferred immunity," he said. "Israel did a study. They said it was much, much more protective than the Pfizer vaccine. Cleveland Clinic did a study, the same thing. Every single credible study always shows that it [natural immunity] provides good protection. And so that’s just the reality."
DeSantis continued: "We've got to protect people's ability to live their lives. I don't want a biomedical security state in which [people] are constantly having to do this to be able to live everyday life."
"I don’t support mandates at all, but if you’re doing [a] mandate based [on] this, if you were really following science, you would acknowledge this natural immunity. And instead, they ignore it."
DeSantis also took exception with Biden’s apparent exemptions to his mandates.
He opposed the Biden administration "issuing this mandate for private-sector employees, but also all federal employees," despite "exempting members of Congress and members of Congress’s staff."
"So, how does that work?" questioned DeSantis. "Can someone explain the science to me behind [the] exemption?"
"First of all, I don’t think the post office should be forced either," he said, pointing out the hypocrisy of vaccinating all federal employees except Congress and their staff.
"When I was in Congress, I actually proposed the 28th amendment," said DeSantis. "Congress shouldn’t make any law that doesn’t apply to them and their staff. So those glaring exemptions."
"If you’re somebody who’s working again, I don’t think postal should be forced. Don’t get me wrong," he added. "But Biden thinks everyone should be forced except you deliver mail somehow. That’s fine. But if you’re somebody — a nurse who’s been working in the ICU for a private hospital for a year and a half treating COVID patients and likely has already had COVID, then somehow you’re going to get fired unless you follow the mandate. How does that make sense at all?"
"It doesn’t. This is all political. It’s all about using [the] government," he concluded. "And it’s wrong."