Governor Ron DeSantis is set to sign a series of anti-vaccine mandate bills on Thursday in Brandon, Florida, adding another victory in his fight to safeguard Floridians from government mandates while simultaneously landing another jab in his ongoing feud with President Joe Biden.
Following an expedited special legislative session that saw lawmakers, largely along party lines, pass four anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate bills, the Governor is wasting little time in signing a legislative package aimed at protecting workers who choose not to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The legislation requires employers to provide exemptions including, but not limited to medical reasons, religious beliefs, regular testing, immunity based on a previous infection, and an agreement to wear protective gear. The legislation also includes fines for businesses that fire a worker without allowing the exemptions.
Once signed, Florida will become the first state that fines companies that require a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment.
Following the conclusion of the special session, DeSantis touted the legislative victory, signaling his excitement to put pen to paper to protect Floridians from overreaching mandates.
I look forward to signing legislation that will protect their jobs and the jobs of all Floridians who are facing unjust termination due to heavy-handed mandates!
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) November 17, 2021
Today’s press conference — to be held in Brandon alongside GOP leaders — is the latest shot delivered from DeSantis in the ongoing clash between the two potential 2024 presidential candidates over individual rights and federal vaccine requirements. In October, DeSantis sued the Biden administration over its contractor vaccine mandate. The Governor has also penalized school districts for implementing masking mandates on school children.
The slogan “Let’s go, Brandon” cemented itself in the political lexicon after an NBC reporter interviewed driver Brandon Brown shortly after securing his first career Xfinity Series victory in October. The reporter — either mistakenly or on purpose — noted fans were cheering for Brandon, despite microphones clearly picking up “F— Joe Biden” chants at the NASCAR race.
Once signed, the legislation will remain law until June 2023.