DeSantis to Fine Localities for Public Employee Vaccine Mandates

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at CPAC in Orlando, Fla., February 26, 2021. (Joe Skipper/Reuters)

Florida governor Ron DeSantis warned on Monday that any city or county in the state that requires vaccination for employees would face a $5,000 fine.

DeSantis signed a law earlier this year prohibiting businesses from requiring proof of vaccination for coronavirus from patrons. The governor claimed that that law also applied to local governments seeking to implement vaccine mandates for employees.

“If a government agency in the state of Florida forces a vaccine as a condition of employment, that violates Florida law and you will face a $5,000 fine for every single violation,” DeSantis said at a press conference.

The governor was joined by several workers who did not want to receive a coronavirus vaccine.

“The vaccine changes your RNA,” one worker said. (The coronavirus mRNA vaccines, made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, do not in fact alter a patient’s RNA.)

A firefighter from Orange County, who previously had coronavirus, claimed that the vaccine could leave

DeSantis’s remarks came after the Florida Health Department announced earlier this month that it would fine businesses and government entities $5,000 for requiring proof of coronavirus vaccination.

DeSantis has staked out a position against coronavirus-related mandates, including for vaccines and masks. The governor signed an executive order in July banning school districts from mandating mask-wearing for pupils in class, although the order has faced numerous challenges in court.

In the latest ruling on that case, the First District Court of Appeals sided with the state in allowing the mask-mandate ban. That ruling will likely allow the ban to stay in effect through the fall semester, until a lower appellate court makes a final decision in the case.

The latest announcement comes days after President Biden announced that all companies with more than 100 employees would be forced to mandate the vaccine for their workers. Biden has also imposed a vaccine mandate for all federal employees and contractors.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.


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