Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is reiterating his vow to fight back against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate. Speaking at a veterans’ appreciation event on Friday, DeSantis expressed his thoughts on Biden’s plan to coerce upwards of 80 million Americans to get vaccinated or lose their jobs.
The vaccine mandate, announced by U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday, requires every federal employee to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and for every private company with more than 100 employees to do the same, or test their employees weekly. Companies that fail to comply could be hit with up to $14,000 per individual violation.
“Governor, the president had a lot to say yesterday, and he didn't say your name, but obviously with referring to you, what you have to say to him that when it came to about the mask mandates?” a reporter asked, prompting DeSantis to say that Biden’s plan of action was “unconstitutional” and that he will stand for the residents of Florida against the administration.
“I would just say generally when you're taking action, that's unconstitutional, that threatens the jobs of the people in my state, many, many thousands of jobs, I'm standing for them. We're going to protect their jobs against federal overreach,” said DeSantis. The governor addressed Biden personally to state, “This is a guy who criticizes the state of Florida for protecting parents' rights. He says school boards should be able to eliminate parents' rights and force five-year-old kids to wear masks all day. That's what he thinks is appropriate government. Yet, here he comes from Washington, DC instituting an unprecedented mandate, which even his own people have acknowledged in the past is not constitutional.”
“That's not leadership,” said DeSantis.
“And I think the problem I have with Joe Biden, more than anything, this guy doesn't take responsibility for anything,” said the governor. “He's always trying to blame other people, blame other states. This is a guy that promised when he ran for president, that he would shut down the virus. If you look now there's 300% more cases in this country today than a year ago when we had no vaccines at all. So his policies are not working.”
“He's doubling down on things that are going to be very destructive for the livelihoods of many, many Americans, and obviously going to be disruptive to our constitutional system and the rule of law,” DeSantis continued, who then defended the rights of workers. “And so these are times when you believe in that constitution, you got to stand up and obviously the substantive issues' important because there are places that are going to toss aside people. Who've worked, they've worked this whole time throughout COVID. Now all of a sudden they should be tossed aside? They were working when nobody had vaccine, you don't know their history. You don't know why they're making decisions that they're making. Many of these people have already recovered and they have immunity. The idea that somehow you have somebody that gets a Johnson and Johnson, they can work, but someone that's got natural immunity somehow can't?”
DeSantis expressed his support for scientific consensus, noting that natural immunity was not even considered by Biden’s vaccine mandate.
“That natural immunity is strong. So it's not based on science,” said DeSantis of the mandate.
“And you can say, he's saying, he's losing patience with people,” remarked DeSantis, referring to Biden’s aggressive stance towards those who refuse to comply to his demands. “You know, at the end of the day, we don't live with a one person rule in this country. We live in a constitutional system, which people's rights are respected, but particularly in this juncture, their livelihoods and their jobs have to be protected.”
“I mean, just think about, you know, what this mandate would do,” continued the governor. “It's going to drive people out of work, out of hospitals, out of all this stuff where you have a need for people. So it's totally counterproductive, and I think it will ultimately lose in court. But before that there needs to be action taken to protect the people of our state and hopefully the entire United States. Nobody should lose their job based on this decision.”