Gov. Ron DeSantis says he’s seeking to protect Florida from the “biomedical security state,” by permanently banning COVID-19 vaccines and masks.
“It required us over the past few years to stand against major institutions in our society: The bureaucracy, the medical establishment, legacy media and even the President of the United States who, together, were working to impose a biomedical security state on society.” DeSantis said while speaking at the Todd Herendeen Theater in Panama City Beach.
If approved by lawmakers, DeSantis’ efforts will permanently restrict the COVID-19 vaccine mandates and mask rules in schools and prevents public and private employers from hiring and firing individuals based on their vaccine status.
“When the world lost its mind, Florida was a refuge of sanity, serving strongly as freedom’s linchpin,” DeSantis said. “These measures will ensure Florida remains this way and will provide landmark protections for free speech for medical practitioners.”
U.S. Rep. Neal Dunn, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo joined DeSantis at the press conference in Florida’s panhandle which also featured comments from a number of people who shared their sentiments.
DeSantis asserted that those under 40 who get booster shots are more at risk from boosters than they are from COVID-19, while doctor’s related stories of adverse reactions that they attribute to the vaccine.
“This is the first time in history where we are using this technology widely in human beings,” Florida’s Surgeon General Ladapo said, referring to the mRNA vaccines. “You’re telling people to put it in children, and you’ve never even shown the children to gain from it in terms of an actual help. That’s the land of crazy. Florida is the land of sanity.”
DeSantis said part of the protections the state will enact include forbidding any mandatory masking in the state and allow medical practitioners the ability to “speak the truth” and to “choose evidence over narrative.”
DeSantis outlined policies that he said will:
- Permanently prohibit COVID-19 mask requirements throughout Florida
- Permanently prohibit COVID-19 vaccine and mask requirement in all schools
- Permanently prohibit COVID-19 vaccine passports in Florida
- Permanently prohibit employers from hiring or firing based on MRNA vaccines
The governor also shared that these policies will protect medical freedom of speech including:
- Protect medical professionals’ freedom of speech
- Protect the right to disagree with the preferred narrative of the medical community
- Protect the religious views of medical professionals
Previous COVID-19-related policies that were approved by the Florida Legislature in 2021 are set to expire on July 1, 2023, DeSantis’ hopes to enshrine the COVID-19 vaccine and mask protections for the future.
“We need to lead with this by making all of these protections permanent in Florida statute, which we’re going to do in the upcoming legislative session,” DeSantis said.
Following DeSantis’ press conference, House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell promptly called a press conference stating that Governor DeSantis and his administration was “the No. 1 peddler of misinformation from the anti-vax establishment.”
Driskell noted that DeSantis was a champion for the Covid-19 vaccine when it first became available, and that only roughly one-third of Florida nursing home residents are up-to-date on their vaccination status.
Driskell emphasized that “no one ever promised total immunity, but those vaccines do lessen the chance of infection, and they increase the likelihood of a milder case if you do get sick.”