Gov. Ron DeSantis Calls on Lawmakers to Permanently Ban COVID Mandates in Florida

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Jan. 17 called on legislators to implement “common-sense legislation” to make permanent COVID-19 freedoms in Florida.

“This strong pro-freedom, anti-mandate action will permanently protect Floridians from losing their jobs due to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, protects parents’ rights, and institutes additional protections that prevent discrimination based on COVID-19 vaccine status,” DeSantis said in a press release.

The proposal calls on state lawmakers to make permanent existing penalties for companies requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for their employees. The legislation would prohibit vaccine and mask requirements for schools, mask requirements imposed by businesses, and vaccine passports requiring proof of vaccinations.

Employers would also be prohibited from hiring and firing employees based on their vaccination status and prohibit firing or de-licensing of medical professionals based on their acceptance of the “preferred narrative of the medical community.”

“They were wrong about lockdowns,” DeSantis said Tuesday. “They were wrong about mask mandates. They were wrong about school closures. They were wrong about mRNA shots. They were wrong about vax passports and vaccine mandates.”

“When the world lost its mind, Florida was a refuge of sanity, serving strongly as freedom’s linchpin,” DeSantis said in a press release. “These measures will ensure Florida remains this way and will provide landmark protections for free speech for medical practitioners.”

During a roundtable convened by DeSantis in December on COVID, physicians and scientists, including Florida Surgeon General Joseph A. Ladapo, formally called on the state Supreme Court to impanel a grand jury to investigate COVID-19 vaccine wrongdoing. Florida’s Supreme Court approved DeSantis’ request late last month.

Gov. DeSantis, on Dec. 13, also announced the creation of a Public Health Integrity Committee, a “committee of expert researchers charged with assessing federal decisions, recommendations, and guidance related to public health and health care.”

Ladapo will receive input from the committee to ensure public health policies are tailored for Florida’s communities and aligned with state priorities. Experts on the committee include Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, Dr. Martin Kuldorff, Tracy Beth Høeg, Dr. Joseph Fraiman, Dr. Christine Stabell Benn, Dr. Bret Weinstein, and Dr. Steven Templeton.

The committee consists of scientists and physicians who signed on to the Great Barrington Declaration and were censored for going against the “scientific consensus” that promoted lockdowns, school closures, mandatory shots, and suppressed treatments that could have saved millions of lives.