Fearing Biden Vaccine Mandate Will Exacerbate Labor Shortage, Florida Business Owners Look to State for Help

A registered nurse applies a dose of the Moderna COVID vaccine to a Sarasota Hospital worker in Sarasota, Fla., September 24, 2021. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Like many restaurateurs across the country, John Horne has struggled to staff his four Anna Maria Oyster Bars on Florida’s Gulf Coast since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year.

He knows a lot of job hunters are now avoiding the service industry. One of his restaurants recently went three months without an applicant, he said.

Horne fears that if President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate ever goes into full effect — it’s blocked for now by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which described it as a “one-size-fits-all sledgehammer” — he could be forced to terminate up to 40 percent

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Ryan Mills is an enterprise and media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons.


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