Florida Republicans restrict vaccine authorization, ignoring the White House
Florida Republicans approved a comprehensive bill on Wednesday to obstruct companies from authorizing coronavirus vaccines, refusing to accept that they are sacrificing public health to help Governor Ron DeSantis (Ron DeSantis) in the White House virus rules. The argument of victory in a struggle.
After hours of debate, Republicans insisted that they were protecting workers from the heavy tasks of the federal government. Legislators in Republican-controlled state capitols accelerated this measure and a package of virus bills.
“If you want to get vaccinated, you can get vaccinated. If you don’t want to get vaccinated, you can choose not to get vaccinated,” Republican Senator Danny Burgess said. “That is the whole purpose of the bill, to trust the people of Florida and allow us to make choices for ourselves.”
Republican DeSantis called a special legislative session on vaccine authorization because he initiated a legal and media campaign against the vaccine authorization promoted by Democratic President Joe Biden. The governor became a star of the Republican Party for his opposition to blockades and other viral rules, raising his profile during his re-election campaign and the 2024 presidential campaign.
Voting on Wednesday night ended a brief meeting, and Republicans will almost certainly pass the bills. The most controversial measures will prevent private companies from compulsory vaccination unless they allow workers to opt out for medical reasons, religious beliefs, immunity based on previous infections, regular testing, or agreements to wear protective equipment. The state health department, led by Dr. Joseph Ladapo, a surgeon who opposes enforcement, will be responsible for defining the exemption criteria.
The measure also includes fines for companies that fire workers without exemption. In addition, it also prohibits the state’s schools and the government from compulsory vaccination, and allows parents to sue schools that require masks. Another bill would prevent the public release of records of state investigations into corporate vaccine policies.
“On most days, it is really exciting to think that another person can make health care decisions about vaccinations and employers can make health care decisions for their employees. This is really exciting,” Republican Rep. Said Erin Grall.
Democrats have repeatedly criticized that the legislation is harmful to the public and burdens businesses. They also stated that the special meeting is equivalent to a political drama, designed to serve DeSantis’ political ambitions.
“Is this bill really trying to protect the safety of Floridans, or is it carefully designed to start our governor’s presidential campaign?” asked Democratic Representative Angie Nixon.
In addition, legislators passed a bill to prevent state health officials from compulsory vaccination during public health emergencies. The Republicans also approved a bill instructing the state to begin considering withdrawing from the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which drafted White House vaccine requirements for companies with more than 100 employees.
Florida—along with two other Republican-led states, employers, and several conservative and business organizations—has filed a lawsuit against the OSHA rules, which has since been shelved in federal court. The state also filed a lawsuit against another White House authorization requesting a COVID-19 vaccine for federal contractors.
During the debate, Democratic Senator Shevrin Jones responded to the frustration that his party has maintained since the meeting.
Jones said: “Let’s call it accurately. This is the governor’s direct contempt for the president and the federal government. This is the only reason we are here now.”