Gov. DeSantis on vaccine mandates: Florida wants to ‘protect all the jobs’
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says his state is trying to recruit law enforcement who are ‘not being treated well’ from other states amid vaccine mandates.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis argued on Sunday that coronavirus vaccine mandates “will wreak havoc in the economy.”
The Republican slammed the vaccine mandates during an exclusive interview with “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“What Biden’s doing is unconstitutional. He does not have the authority to do this,” DeSantis told host Maria Bartiromo.
He then explained what the vaccine mandates will do on a “practical level.”
“In addition to be taking away people’s personal choices, it will wreak havoc in the economy because even if a small percentage of these folks end up losing their jobs or voluntarily walking away, you’re going to have huge disruptions in medical, in logistics, in law enforcement,” DeSantis said.
“So in Florida our policy’s very clear,” he continued, “we’re going to have a special session and we’re going to say nobody should lose their job based off these injections.”
A White House spokesperson did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
DeSantis stressed that getting the vaccine is “a choice you can make, but we want to make sure we’re protecting your jobs and your livelihoods.”
DeSantis made the comments three days after he tweeted out an updated version of the Florida state flag that was trending on social media after calling for the special session to ban local coronavirus vaccine mandates.
“Don’t tread on Florida,” the flag reads with an alligator on the bottom paying tribute to the Gadsden flag that contains the message “Don’t Tread On Me.”
On Thursday, DeSantis called on the Florida legislature to hold a special session with the aim of banning vaccine mandates in his state.
The Republican governor said he will convene a special session of the GOP-controlled statehouse in November to address vaccine requirements. He did not specify a starting date.
“At the end of the day, you shouldn’t be discriminated against based on your health decisions,” he said during a news conference on Thursday. “We want to provide protection for people, we want to make it clear that, in Florida, your right to earn a living is not contingent upon whatever choices you’re making in terms of these injections.”
DeSantis outlined policy goals for the special session, including holding businesses liable for adverse reactions to vaccines, removing legal liability protections for employers with vaccine mandates, and added protections for people fired for not being vaccinated.
The Florida governor also told Bartiromo that his state is “actively working to recruit out of state law enforcement” who risk losing their jobs unless they get the vaccine.
Last week the Chicago police union’s first vice president, Michael Mette, issued a blistering attack on Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s vaccine mandate.
Mette’s remarks were aimed at a city policy requiring that all city employees, including police officers, enter their vaccine status in the city’s data portal.
On Tuesday, Police Superintendent David Brown said 21 department employees had been placed on “no-pay status” for refusing to provide the information. He said the department needed to talk to hundreds of officers who had thus far not provided the information.
Mette encouraged those officers to stay their ground and blasted city leaders for not meeting at the bargaining table.
“In Florida, not only are we going to want to protect the law enforcement and all the jobs, we’re actually actively working to recruit out of state law enforcement because we do have needs in our police and our sheriffs’ departments,” DeSantis told Bartiromo.
“So in the next legislative session, I’m going to hopefully sign legislation that gives a $5,000 bonus to any out of state law enforcement that relocates in Florida,” he said.
On Sunday, DeSantis had a message for members of law enforcement: “If you’re not being treated well, we’ll treat you better here. You can fill important needs for us, and we’ll compensate you as a result.”
Earlier this month, DeSantis threatened to sue the Biden administration over the anticipated federal coronavirus vaccine mandate. Last month, the president announced businesses with more than 100 employees will be required to mandate COVID-19 vaccines or administer weekly tests. Employers are also required to pay employees for time off to get vaccinated and recover from side effects.
The governor’s comments came during a press conference in Fort Myers on monoclonal antibody treatments, which the governor has worked to make more accessible in the state to prevent severe COVID-19 infections.
“I think that the mandate is going to lose in court,” DeSantis said during the press conference regarding the federal mandate.
He added that Florida would contest any such mandate from the Biden administration “immediately,” and that any lawsuits from the state would be filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.
DeSantis and Biden have taken opposite stances on both vaccine and mask mandates. While the president issued a mask mandate on federal grounds soon after taking office, DeSantis barred local mask mandates in Florida.
Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller, Bradford Betz, Audrey Conklin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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