Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FLA) called a special emergency legislative session on Thursday to ban private sector employee vaccine mandates. This will be the second special session called in 2021 since the regular session ended in April.
DeSantis was joined by Attorney General Ashley Moody and Florida’s Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. Several Floridians, a nurse, a first-generation Cuban American airplane mechanic, and a fireman also spoke because they were negatively affected by vaccine mandates.
The video from the press conference, provided by wfla.com, can be viewed below:
During his 50-minute press conference in Pinellas County, DeSantis told Floridians that the fight against tyrannical mandates needs to be two-pronged, both legislative and legal, to be effective. DeSantis believes that the “right to earn a living should not be contingent upon COVID shots.” DeSantis stated:
“In addition to mounting aggressive legal challenges to federal mandates, we’re also going to be taking legislative action to add protections for people in the state of Florida. That’s something that cannot wait until the regular legislative session next year. It needs to happen soon, so we will be calling the legislature back for a special session.”
The Governor also addressed issues related to mandates in light of the OSHA mandates “coming down the pike,” per President Biden’s aggressive six-step plan he announced on Sept. 9. An interesting aside is OSHA seems to have switched its policies regarding vaccine injury reporting for employers.
Until May, OSHA required employers with vaccine mandates to report COVID vaccine injuries as work related.
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) October 19, 2021
DeSantis also addressed the contractor mandate. The vast majority of federal contractors are required to be fully vaccinated by Dec. 8 per Biden’s signed order. DeSantis said he needs to find “the right plaintiff” to fight the contractor mandate because of the likelihood of “reprisals.” The contractor mandate is an important challenge because it affects “thousands and thousands of people in the state of Florida.”
DeSantis argues a second important issue for Floridians is CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).
“They’re basically saying if you don’t do forced injections, then you lose Medicare Medicaid funding. Well, none of these health care providers would be able to even function—particularly in a state like Florida where most of their patients are on Medicare and so we think that’s illegal—that’s wrong.”
Also discussed were vaccine mandates in state and local governmental entities and their toll on the American workforce. DeSantis highlighted the real-world consequences of the mandates which are affecting average American families. He brought forward the Orange County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief, Stephen Davis, who spoke about his plight at the end of the press conference. He lost his job because he refused to write up his fellow first responders for not complying with vaccine mandates.
DeSantis has been concerned about the protection of local businesses as well. During the last legislative session, he stood strongly against vaccine passports in support of the state’s business owners. He and the legislature worked to help local businesses protect themselves against lawsuits should someone in their organization contract COVID and die.
“We didn’t think that businesses should be getting sued over this,” said DeSantis, “and so we provided probably the strongest COVID liability protection anywhere in the country very early on.”
However, as he pointed out, it is now “those same businesses who were complaining about potential liability [who] turn around and want to fire employees over these injections,” said DeSantis. He shared that he feels as if “he is being stabbed in the back” after “standing up for them” and now plans to put strong, legislative employee protections in place. DeSantis admitted he never anticipated the current state of affairs concerning such extensive government overreach.
“It would never have occurred to me that we would be in the situation that we are with some of the insanity that’s raining down right now, said DeSantis. We took very strong action against things like vaccine passports. That was the right decision to do because we didn’t want people to be having their freedom circumscribed based on showing papers and we really nipped that whole issue in the bud here in Florida.
But then now you have this—where you have these aggressive potential mandates which could potentially lead to many people losing their jobs. Some have already been terminated and we need to provide protections.
I don’t have the authority to just dictate to you. That’s why you need to have the legislature come in. You actually have to pass legislation. You can enshrine protections into law. We can make sure that we’re looking out for folks and, here’s the thing, there’s…a principled basis. We have the responsibility to stand up for people’s individual rights and individual freedom.”
It isn’t just that people are being fired due to the mandates. They are being “fired for cause” because of a refusal to get the jab. The consequence of being fired for refusing the vaccine is the individual becomes ineligible for re-employment assistance. DeSantis is going to make sure his state addresses the issue from the perspective of the one losing the job while also ensuring that businesses no longer enjoy COVID liability protection if someone is forced to take the jab and is then injured because of it.
“If you think about it, explained DeSantis, if anyone has been forced to do an injection and has an adverse reaction, that business should be liable for that [and] any damages. There’s just—you have to do it—because that’s on them. It wasn’t an individual choice.
I also think this COVID liability protection that was given—the minute you go and start mandating—that liability protection is going to go by the wayside for each individual business that makes the decision to fire people or to do any of that. And I know some of them have already done it. So we’re going to make sure that we beef that up.
It’s also the case some of these people have recently been fired and then they were viewed as having been fired for cause and then they are now ineligible for re-employment assistance; we’re going to make sure that those are not for cause. We [must] provide people a lifeline. But at the end of the day, you know, you shouldn’t be discriminated against based on your health decisions.”
“We don’t know all there is to know [about the vaccine] yet, no matter what people on TV tell you, it’s not true. We are going to learn more about the safety of these vaccines. Remember when people were telling you that these vaccines would stop transmission and the rates of protection were greater than 90%? Well, you know, guess what?! Here we are about 10 months afterward and we’re finding that the data are showing that in some of these vaccines the protection from infection is less than 40%. We are foolish for not believing people who are telling us things that we don’t have data for right now. It is ridiculous.
Remember these people were also telling you that all these breakthrough infections—that people—you know sports stars and celebrities and your neighbors and maybe even you out there were having after you were vaccinated. Well, they’re obviously not rare! In fact, they are common. And so that’s the truth. So this idea that the vaccines are needed and vaccine mandates are needed to create safe workplaces is a complete lie. It’s continued to be repeated and you should know that it’s not at all backed up by science. In fact, the science says something that’s completely the opposite.