“Your right to earn a living should not be contingent upon COVID-19 shots,” the governor said during a press conference. DeSantis promoted individuals getting vaccinated, but said he wants to “stand up for people’s jobs and their livelihoods” against mandates.
A special legislative session will be called in November for the purpose of banning vaccine mandates for private businesses, months before the state legislature is set to reconvene.
“I don’t think you can wait until next year,” DeSantis said.
The White House previously announced that companies with more than 100 employees will need to require staff receive Covid vaccinations, a move that has earned heavy scrutiny, especially from Republicans.
At his press conference, DeSantis brought with him individuals affected by the vaccine mandate, including Orange County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Davis, who recently lost his job for refusing to enforce vaccine mandates among public employees.
“To me this violated more than just a law, this violated their own civil rights,” Davis said. “This violated the trust that these men and women have served over the last year and a half in the front lines.”
DeSantis has been one of the most vocal critics of pandemic-era mandates, such as mask-wearing in schools and the “forced injections” being pushed through vaccine mandates. He said on Thursday that he also plans on presenting legal challenges to mandates put forth for public employees and hospital staff too. A lot of employers, the governor noted, are not honoring exemptions, and threatening to pull Medicaid funding from hospitals for not enforcing the vaccine mandate could be “illegal.”
DeSantis’ plan has not been specifically outlined, and state House Speaker Chris Sprowls said he has not received “dates or details regarding any proposed call” just yet.
The White House has shown no signs of backing off their vaccine mandate plan, with press secretary Jen Psaki recently insisting they are “good for the economy,” despite reports of staffing issues in major industries. President Joe Biden continues to say the vaccination rate remains too low in the US.
Over 66% of the US is vaccinated against Covid-19, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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