Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) reacted on Thursday to the rumblings of President Joe Biden’s plan to impose vaccine requirements on businesses, emphasizing that it is “fundamentally wrong” to cause individuals to lose their jobs over their choice about the vaccine, and he vowed to fight it.
“I could say the one thing that I’m concerned about is them trying to force mandates on individuals and businesses. How could we get to the point in the country where you would want to have someone lose their job because of their choice about the vaccine or not?” DeSantis asked during a press conference on Thursday.
“I mean, look, some folks have reasons to do, maybe they’re making the wrong decision, but to put them out of work and send them and not let them earn a living because of this, I just think that that’s fundamentally wrong,” he said, noting that officials are only alienating more people with these coercive measures:
” I don’t think it actually helps to get more people to ultimately do it, but I do not believe that people should lose their jobs over this issue, and we will fight that,” he vowed:
“If they try to do that through a rule like the Department of Labor, I don’t think they have the legal authority to do that, but we obviously would want to support protections for people who were just trying to earn a living,” DeSantis said.
One of the central issues with the mandates, the governor continued, is the fact that they are failing to recognize the natural immunity of people who have previously contracted the Chinese coronavirus but have since recovered.
“The idea that somebody that has recovered from COVID has less protection than somebody that’s, say, taken the Pfizer — I, you know, Israel did a study and said that’s actually, you know, the infection control of immunity is stronger,” he said.
“Again, none of this is a hundred percent, but it’s very strong. So they don’t recognize that. And I think that that’s not following the science. And then I also think they don’t have the authority to impose that on private employers or on private employees,” he continued.
Ultimately, DeSantis said the government should not impose this mandate on any employees.
“Maybe they have authority with the federal workers. I don’t know,” he continued, noting he is not in the business of lecturing anyone about their personal health decisions:
“What I try to do is say, here’s what we’ve seen in Florida. The people that have been admitted to the hospital this summer are overwhelmingly not vaccinated. …. So you’re talking about a relatively small slice of the population that is, that is leading to a lot of these hospitalizations,” he said, noting they “put that out there for folks.”
However, the Republican governor said forcing or coercing people is not the right decision and emphasized the importance of early treatment, such as the successful monoclonal antibody treatment centers embraced in the Sunshine State.
“It’s surprising that given what we, the numbers we’ve seen now in Florida with this downward trend that, that this early treatment, wasn’t part of the six-point plan,” he added.
According to the governor’s office, the treatment is “70 percent effective in preventing hospitalization for high risk COVID patients, which translates to nearly 50,000 people who might have needed to be hospitalized if not for Governor DeSantis’ initiative.”
“Florida is now one of only 9 states with decreasing hospitalization rates,” his office said, adding that Biden should be focusing on that rather than “authoritarian and coercive mandates that are not even effective in stopping COVID-19”:
DeSantis’s remarks preceded President Biden’s divisive speech, in which he announced his administration’s plans for sweeping vaccine mandates:
We are going to protect the vaccinated workers from unvaccinated coworkers. pic.twitter.com/QMuEz9ynis
— President Biden (@POTUS) September 10, 2021
As part of his plan, the Labor Department is developing an emergency rule that will require “all employers with 100 or more employees that together employ over 80 million workers to ensure their work forms are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.” He is also issuing mandates for certain healthcare workers, federal employees, and federal contractors.
“If you want to work with the federal government and do business with us, get vaccinated. If you want to do business with the federal government, vaccinate your workforce,” Biden said, railing against the unvaccinated.
“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin,” he said, “and your refusal has cost all of us.”
Author: Hannah Bleau