Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday unveiled an initiative to permanently ban mask requirements across Florida and permanently block Covid-19 vaccine requirements at schools and businesses.
During a press conference in Panama City Beach, the Republican governor announced a proposal on those issues, including prohibiting employers in Florida from firing employees who aren’t vaccinated.
The proposal would have to be in the form of a piece of legislation during the 2023 legislative session.
DeSantis was joined by Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo and others at the news conference.
The proposal also pushed for protection of “medical freedom of speech.” That would mean allowing physicians “to disagree with the preferred narrative, of the medical community,” according to a poster-like flier that had limited information about the initiative.
Earlier, DeSantis had banned what’s called “vaccine passports.”
But now, he is pushing for a broader ban across Florida. The governor said that he is confident lawmakers will pass legislation to protect freedom of speech from the medical community.
The state wants to prevent medical professionals from “discrimination based on their personal views, and ensure “no one loses their job or medical license for voicing their professional opinions in Florida,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.
“They will pass it this year; I’ve already talked to the leadership,” DeSantis said. “But we want to have our medical practitioners, particularly our physicians, be protected with the freedom to be able to speak the truth.”
In 2021, DeSantis called members of the Legislature to convene a special session to protect workers from vaccine mandates by employers. And the state had also blocked through legislation a mask requirement for children at public schools, among other provisions, as previously reported by the Florida Phoenix.
“We also called a special session of the Florida Legislature to ensure that Floridians livelihoods were protected,” DeSantis said. “We banned mandates in the workplace for Covid shots because nobody should have to choose between a job they need and a shot they don’t want.”
“We banned mandates in the workplace for Covid shots,” DeSantis said.
Later Tuesday, Florida House Democratic Leader Fentrice Driskell said it was important to address remarks made about Covid safeguards during the governor’s press conference, calling DeSantis’ rhetoric “dangerous” to the health of Florida residents.
She also pushed for Floridians to get booster doses. The governor had questioned the effectiveness of bivalent boosters during the news conference.
“So, Ron DeSantis, what we witness today, he’s become the number one peddler of a dangerous message from the anti-vax establishment. It is a fake ideology with real consequences,” she said.
So many false and half-true things were said and so much misinformation spread, Driskell said.
“Masks work, the CDC has proven that. The mRNA vaccines work. 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, Driskell.
Driskell also pointed to when the state did shut down due to Covid-19 under the DeSantis administration.
“He seems to forget that he locked down the state in 2020, Ron DeSantis locked down Florida in 2020. He, like many other Republican and Democratic elected officials understood that we needed to do whatever we could to slow the spread and save lives. But now he runs from that history.”
–Isaac Morgan, Florida Phoenix
How many people reading this think DeSantis is not vaccinated and not current on his booster shots? There is a special place in hell for anyone willing to see other people suffer and die to further their political and personal ambitions.
What a disgrace to Florida. This is not about personal freedom. It is about the collective safety of all of us to get vaccinated for our own protection and those around us.
It is interesting to read the statistics where those that have died from Covid have in the majority been Republicans. It may be that the far right will end up losing power by killing their most fervent believers. What a sad commentary on modern America.
Rick G says
DeSantis states this “The state wants to prevent medical professionals from “discrimination based on their personal views, and ensure “no one loses their job or medical license for voicing their professional opinions in Florida,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.”
This sounds like indoctrination to me… so as long as the medical professional agrees with DeSantoad he or she shouldn’t lose their jobs…. even if they aren’t competent
I’m sick and tired of mask nannies and the oh-so-pious, telling the rest of us How It Is with COVID, and that there is absolutely no other discussion allowed…that anything not slathering praise and obedience to the State version of this particular “chapter” of human medicine is forbidden. You people need to wake up, you do NOT want your DOCTOR to be told what they can and cannot tell YOU by The State. This idea that your governor wants quacks and charlatans to take over any and all discussion is ludicrous, half-baked partisan lunacy that has NO BUSINESS being whined about in the company of adult human beings. The People are way ahead of you political hacks on this subject, and we really wish you’d sit down and stop trying to force that idiotic narrative on every single solitary attempt to talk about this subject AT ALL.
This is between YOU and YOUR DOCTOR. Period. The rest of it is fear-mongering noise that needs to cease in a free country. Stop taking the people constantly pushing it seriously. They want you to live in fear, and you do not have to do that for a virus with a recovery rate in the high upper-ninety percentile.
Deborah Coffey says
One question for you: How many are dead in your family from Covid?
None. I had the bug twice before there was ever a vax.
Anyone I knew who passed? Some were vaxxed and some weren’t. All had co-morbidities in which the vax status meant nothing.
This virus does not kill most people. If you believe otherwise, I’m very sorry
Deborah Coffey says
Well, I’m sorry too, that your nonchalance over 1,000,000+ dead people means human life is not high on your priority list. What does it say about a country where so many have been taught to care so little about others? Where disrespect and distrust for our scientists, our government, and its institutions has been taught and learned by tens of millions. Where those same people have been taught by their “leaders” to care more about themselves and what they want than anything else? It means that we are witnessing the slow death of a great nation. If you believe otherwise, I’m very sorry.
“” kill most people””, the key words in your statement. But it does kill. MY neighbor a health nut, 48 years old, yearly physicals without hesitation, a in shape retired Marine. Well felt he didn’t need the shots and he had had enough shots in the service during many deployments, he didn’t trust the govt, got covid, at church. Died after spending weeks in ICU trying to breath.
Listen to your doctor, make your own decisions . I really don’t want DeathSantis making my decisions for me or my doctors.
I doubt very seriously that Mellie had the “bug” twice before there was a vaccine. So how did she test? Also, Mellie apparently did not see the people laying on their stomachs trying desperately to breath while on ventilators, or saw the refrigerated trucks holding bodies, around the world. Maybe Mellie should amble down to the nearest hospital and ask the doctors there if the whole pandemic was nothing more than a “bug.” Stating that the “…vax meant nothing” indicates that she has no idea what mRNA is.
I accept her apology.
Edith Campins says
Isn’t it ironic how the same people who deny a woman’s right to choose will say ” This is btween YOU and YOUR DOCTOR” on this matter?
“TALLAHASSEE — Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo recently appeared on the podcast of a prominent anti-vaccine advocate, where he continued to make claims about vaccines that are contradictory to widespread medical consensus.
Medical experts have said Ladapo’s claims are dangerous, and that his very presence on the podcast — and other recent appearances on shows promoting falsehoods and conspiracy theories — gives credibility and support to anti-vaccine rhetoric.
Lapado’s latest comments are part of a litany of dubious claims that have alarmed public health officials in Florida and across the country since he got appointed surgeon general more than a year ago by Gov. Ron DeSantis.”
Donald J Trump says
DeSantis needs to be mentally evaluated because he dangerously ill. He put his personal beliefs ahead of science because he understands his uneducated base will agree that and support him. His wife was cured of cancer because of science. Maybe he is sorry that she survived. She interferes with his sexual involvement with his African “Witch Doctor”.
After all we now know about the lies Fauci and the government has told us regarding masks and the vaccine, you continue to peddle your nonsense all because you have a distaste for Republicans. WAKE UP!!!! It’s clear the left has become the disease that is infecting the country’s ability to use common sense.
Deborah Coffey says
Buy a mirror.
Why? Nobody needs a mirror to see the obvious here. Please stop the baseless fear-mongering!
Sydney Charles says
Oh no! Seriously? You read or watched all those links, and that’s the best you could come up with?
I believe you never even checked it out, and just engaged in an ad-hominem attack in which Flaglerlive helped to perpetuate by approving it. That’s too bad, I used to like this site. It lately seems to be populated in the comments sections by overwrought hacks and drama queens, though. Didn’t used to be this way…
In response to Sydney Charles,
Contrary to your “belief”, I did indeed read and view those links and was merely supporting my position to show that the hatred for Ron DeSantis is real from Democrats and the left. Apparently you have no rebuttal other than to claim I “engaged in an ad-hominem attack”. Perhaps you should look of up examples of an ad-hominem attack. Regardless of your position, I wish you well.
Anthony: I am not a Democrat, I am NPA. I do not know a single Democrat, or NPA, who “hates DeSantis,” that’s just more misinformation. I do, however, believe he is a very dangerous man, and should not be in the position he is in. He is way overstepping his job description. He is attempting to grab up more power with each passing day, on issues that stir up his base, not normal issues that help Florida in general.
Me Too says
LOL! I’m a republican and I can see through DeathSantis!
David Schaefer says
This guy is a total nutcase….
Lorraine Ortega says
Desantis is fighting for the wrong things! He is basically saying that choosing to be unsafe – by remaining unvaccinated and an infection risk to others, should be a right. This is disregarding the rights of others, especially the elderly and immunosuppressed, in our community to live safely. That’s exactly what a vaccinated society does.
DeathSantis rides again. He is the only Governor in the USA that doesn’t care if his citizens live or die. Bet he got his booster though.
Not my Governor and Not my President. He is another Trumper.
Deborah Coffey says
“Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday unveiled an initiative to permanently ban mask requirements across Florida and permanently block Covid-19 vaccine requirements at schools and businesses.”
In other words, DeSantis is on his way to killing another 100,000 Floridians, including children, and then lying about the numbers when they make him look bad. We need to stop this cruel, sick man. He’s pitting Floridians against one another and allowing those on his side to kill off and sicken all the others with deadly viruses.
That is exactly correct. The guy is killing his own voters and doesn’t care. It’s only about him and him and him. He is worse then Trump.
What Else Is New says
Yes, those commenting about DeathSantis being a nut case, needing mental evaluation pandering to his base, base are absolutely correct. The Florida Legislature bows to his edicts. D embraces the real nut jobber, Surgeon General Ladapo and abases world renown immunologist Dr. Fauci, so where are D’s priorities? Of course he knows masks work. Of course he is aware of the effectiveness of vaccines. He was afraid of Rebekah Jones due to her divulging the true numbers of COVID deaths in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis is a danger to the health of Floridians. Read 1000 Years of Joy and Sorrows by Ai Weiwei. Living under China rule is deadly and it seems we are reaching for the same autocracy.
Very true. They should so a recount on his elections results. Don’t trust the con man, remember he took lessons from Trump.
I didn’t realize so many were still so hysterical about the Governor who won by a 19 point margin. I guess when you don’t have Trump to whizz all over you have to freak out about someone….
Mellie: Yes, Trump did “whizz” all over everyone.
Michael Cocchiola says
DeSantis has now gone full QAnon. Conspiracy disinformation is now Floriduh’s truth.
Good news is that intelligent people will Vax-up. Republicans will remain happily deluded and refuse to accept medical science. DeSantis’ base will shrivel up and die and we can then move Florida into the 21st century.
Let me see. Who should I listen to? A politician trying to stir up the Republican base (instead of doing real work for Florida) or Mayo Clinic?
What to do, what to do?
I’ll listen to Dr. Fauci, who was a world renowned virologist for decades until the Republican Party decided it was in its best interest to change that fact (alternate fact). Also, I’ve been watching Nova for years, and learned about mRNA vaccine research before Trump ran for President and demonized it. It’s not that new, it just hasn’t been introduced to the public until the pandemic needed it fast.
We got all our shots and boosters, and guess what? We’re fine! It’s the really near future, folks, take it or leave it. I’ll take it.
I love wearing a mask! Both major home centers employ facial recognition, so covid and the resulting
mask-wearing has thrown a wrench into their privacy-invading practices!
Many other retail businesses, such as supermarkets employ the same technology, claiming that it’s
to identify shoplifters only. BULLSHIT. They match up your face with your payment method, buying
habits, and share (sell) this data without your consent.
Next time you check out at Lowes, for instance, look at the monitor facing you at the checkout. You’ll see a square
floating over your face! It looks like something out of the show Person of Interest!
Again, I love wearing a mask!
Feel free to google this.
Geezer: Good one Geeze! Shows you’re thinking. I like it! :)
I enjoy your commentary!
Thank you for your kind words, Laurel.
Good vibes sent to you.
Me Too says
We should ask the gov’t….what about OUR privacy but they don’t care. Thank you for your post.