Governor Ron DeSantis has announced that he is permanently banning Covid mandates in schools and businesses in the State of Florida. These new measures aim to protect Florida residents from the authoritarian rules and regulations that were imposed nationwide during the pandemic.
One of the key bills focuses on preserving individual freedom and solidifies the safeguards that were implemented in the Sunshine State over the past two years. Notably, the legislation permanently prohibits vaccine mandates, ensuring that residents have the autonomy to make their own healthcare decisions.
DeSantis noted that Florida schools will not be allowed to mandate Covid shots, nor can the workplace require vaccine passports.
#BREAKING: Gov. Ron DeSantis announces signing of legislation to permanently outlaw COVID-19 mandates in schools, businesses and government entities, crack down on vaccine discrimination in employment pic.twitter.com/AQseBx7E9C
— Florida’s Voice (@FLVoiceNews) May 11, 2023
“All that stuff must be made permanent,” he said. “It makes all these protections permanent that we’ve done over the last two years,” he added.
“If it’s emergency use, how can they force you to take it, whether it’s a business, or whether it’s a government? That is wrong and that will not be allowed in the state of Florida,” the governor said.
Governor DeSantis addressed the issue of flawed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), citing the mask guidance in schools as an example of misguided policies that were broadly embraced. By enacting these new laws, Florida seeks to avoid making the same mistakes and instead prioritize evidence-based decision-making rooted in local data.
Another critical aspect of the legislation is the prevention of discrimination against patients based on their vaccination status. Instances of individuals being denied organ transplants due to vaccine refusal have emerged in other parts of the country. Florida’s new laws aim to protect individuals from such discrimination and ensure equal treatment for all patients.
In addition, the bill formalizes the rejection of guidance from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.). Going forward, any public health advice adopted by Florida must be approved by the state’s own Department of Health, emphasizing the state’s commitment to independent decision-making rather than relying on international organizations.
“We want to be a buffer against flawed guidance, and with the prospect of W.H.O. and its so-called treaty, I think they’re really looking at institutionalized lockdown policies, and that will not happen here,” DeSantis said.
Governor DeSantis also highlighted Senate Bill 1580, which grants physicians the freedom of speech in their practice. This legislation empowers physicians to make decisions based on scientific evidence rather than being bound by mandates, thus promoting evidence-based medicine and allowing doctors to provide the best possible care to their patients.
“We don’t want to just defer to authority or to just follow the herd. So that is now law in the state of Florida. So this is kind of the opposite of what states like California has done,” he said, asking, “Where would you rather practice as a physician: A place where you can make your own judgments or not?”
Furthermore, Florida has become the first state in the nation to enact a ban on gain-of-function research. By taking this proactive step, the state aims to prioritize public safety and prevent potential risks associated with controversial scientific practices.
“We are the first state in the United States to ban formally gain-of-function research,” he said, noting that gain-of-function research was being conducted at the Wuhan lab with taxpayer dollars and likely led to the emergence of the virus.
“Where’s the accountability for people like Fauci and these other folks when they said they never did any of this? And we know much of that was not true. So I’m glad that the legislature stepped up to make a difference there,” DeSantis added.
With these new laws, Governor DeSantis and the State of Florida have taken a firm stance on safeguarding individual liberties, ensuring evidence-based decision-making, and protecting the well-being of their residents.
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.