Less than one month into his second term in office, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is now seeking to permanently ban mandates on both the COVID-19 vaccine and masks.
DeSantis made the announcement Tuesday in Panama City, saying he wanted to protect the state from what he called a "biomedical security state" while continuing his criticism of both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Biden administration.
"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."
If approved by the Florida Legislature, the measures would restrict shot and mask rules in all schools and prevent public and private employers from hiring and firing based on shot status, NBC affiliate WPTV-TV reported.
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"We need to lead with this by making all of these protections permanent in Florida statute, which we're going to go in the upcoming legislative session," DeSantis said.
House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell, a Democrat from Tampa, said she worries people will suffer without protections and misinformation will compound.
"Ron DeSantis - what we witnessed today - he has become the No. 1 peddler of a dangerous message from the anti-vax establishment," Driskell said. "It is a fake ideology with real consequences."