Florida Gov. Sues County For Millions Over Vaccine Mandates

Ron DeSantis Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently shared that the state of Florida would be fining Leon County $3.5 million for requiring its employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine and firing 14 workers who failed to get the shot. The Florida Department of Health cites that this violates Florida’s vaccine passport law, which prohibits businesses from requiring people to get the vaccine. DeSantis even emphasized how no one should lose their jobs because of the COVID shots.

“These are people that, presumably, have been serving throughout this whole time and now all of a sudden they’re basically getting kicked to the curb,” DeSantis said at a recent news conference.

President Joe Biden announced a federal mandate last month to companies with more than 100 employees, requiring they be vaccinated or face weekly testing. DeSantis then passed his vaccine passport law with a $5,000 fine per violation, adding that it is currently being challenged in court and has conflicts with the Biden Administration’s federal vaccine mandate.

There are currently 120 cases being reviewed for violations against DeSantis’s vaccine passport ban. This also includes the Orange County government, Amway center, and several performing arts venues. Many events required that attendees either be vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test to enter. Other health officials have reversed their stance on vaccine mandates to avoid the fines, including the city of Gainesville.

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But Leon County Administrator Vincent Long said he is aware of the fines and that there is a “genuine disagreement” about the application of the statute and rule, along with the county being able to enforce its rights. The county argued against the local government, adding that they should be able to protect residents “as they see fit.” Even White House press secretary Jen Psaki accused the Florida and Texas governors of “putting politics ahead of public health,” even though that’s exactly what the draconian mandates do to small businesses and communities.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings accused the Florida law of “flying in the face of our Florida constitution” and “in the face of common sense,” even though it is an infringement on medical privacy and firing loyal workers over their health decisions. Others expressed their outrage as an “outreach of state government.”

But DeSantis said he would continue fighting for Floridians’ rights and for the Florida Department of Health to continue standing up for their jobs, livelihood, and freedom. He said he would follow through with issuing the fines to any government agency, business, or school, that tries to force residents to show proof of vaccination. He said the requirement only divides social classes further.

“One, I’m vaccinated, I am offended that someone would make me show something just to go to a restaurant or just to live life. My view is we got to protect people’s ability to live their lives. I don’t want a biomedical security state in which are constantly having to do this just to be able to live everyday life,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis has emphasized how the branches of government making decisions for local employees due to personal medical decisions is “illegal” and will be challenged. He said he will continue to keep his word and protect residents against counties in Florida looking to violate vaccine mandate bans. He said he will protect the jobs of Floridians and those who make their own decisions regarding what shots to take.

Whether you work in a school or a government building, no one should be forced to lose their livelihood over the jab. DeSantis is protecting that freedom and standing with the people.