DeSantis threatens to issue “millions” in fines over local vaccine mandates

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Monday that the state would impose a $5,000 fine on cities and counties for every worker required to be vaccinated, Tampa Bay Times reports.

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why it matters: It is the governor’s latest threat against local officials who have implemented mask or vaccine mandates in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.

  • Several school districts have openly defied DeSantis’ mask mandate ban, prompting state officials to withdraw funds from at least two districts.

running news: Gainesville, Orange County and . local governments in Leon County are backing a new state law that prohibits businesses and governments from requiring proof of vaccination from employees and customers.

  • They each require their employees to be vaccinated or face termination, with certain exemptions.

what is he saying: According to the Tampa Bay Times, DeSantis said at a news conference on Monday, “We will not let people lose their jobs because of the vaccine mandate.” “You don’t alienate people serving you honestly on this issue, which is basically a personal choice over their personal health.”

  • “It’s potentially millions and millions of dollars in fines,” he said.

On the other end: Local governments stick to their decisions despite the dangers.

  • “It is our belief that as an employer we uphold the right to require vaccination as a condition of employment,” said Gainesville spokeswoman Shelby Taylor. said in a statement to the AP.
  • “That could be a lot of money, yes, [no] Question about it,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, a Democrat, told a news conference per AP. DeSantis called DeSantis’s moves politically motivated and said officials could avoid threats through the courts or any other avenue. “will deal”.
  • “At the end of the day, it’s our goal to protect, keep people safe in our large community, which is a fundamental role of government.”
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big picture: Florida has become the epicenter of the country’s outbreak this summer.

  • Deaths in the state included more than 20% of COVID-related deaths per AP across the US last week.

go in: Biden plans COVID vaccine mandate for 80 million private sector employees

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