Update on DeSantis’ Vaccine Mandate: Florida Governor Threatens $5,000 Fines for Violations
Florida Governor Threatens $5,000 Fines for Violations of DeSantis’ Vaccine Mandate
Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida has threatened to charge any entity that requires employees to obtain COVID-19 immunizations, including government institutions, with a $5,000 fine for each offense in his jurisdiction.
DeSantis claimed the fine is a means to “stand up for freedom” for workers who may be fired if their employers require proof of vaccination at a press conference on Monday.
“This is political; it’s about using government authority to control,” he stated. “We’re going to keep these jobs, keep these folks employed, and keep them safe.”
Each offense would be punished with a $5,000 fine under DeSantis’ law, which was approved in May.
According to Desantis, vaccines are “available to everyone, but mandatory to none,” and employees who request proof of immunization risk being fined “millions and millions of dollars.”
According to CNN, local county leaders across the state responded strongly to DeSantis’ announcement of employee fines.
DeSantis isn’t the first politician to criticize the COVID-19 safety standards. Earlier this month, Second Circuit Judge John Cooper ruled against him, allowing Florida schools to apply mask restrictions. However, on Thursday, an appeals court upheld the mask mandate prohibition.
DeSantis’ warnings go opposite to President Joe Biden’s recent COVID immunization program, which would require private companies with more than 100 employees to have their employees vaccinated or tested for the virus on a monthly basis. It also requires all government workers to get vaccinated, with no option for weekly testing.
According to USAFacts.org, over 65 percent of Floridians have received at least one dose of the vaccination, with 54 percent having received all three doses.