DeSantis is ready to stir up Florida’s battle over COVID-19 mandates

Tallahassee – In a widespread attack on efforts to combat COVID-19, Gov. Ron DeSantis called for the Republican-controlled Congress to be made permanent on Tuesday. Florida Mandatory Mask Ban so School and vaccine requirements For municipalities and companies.

measures Enacted In a special session convened by DeSantis in late 2021, he was fighting Many Florida school districts, private companies, and the federal government under President Joe Biden, take measures They considered it potentially necessary to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

The ban on delegation, approved by Florida legislators at the time, is set to expire in June.

But DeSantis wants to keep them on the books, and has raised the specter that efforts to revive them may emerge from places like California.

“It’s no coincidence that we became a free Florida state,” DeSantis said in a rally-like address to a crowd at a theater in Panama City. The message is ‘science, not censorship’.

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‘Just nuts:’ DeSantis keeps saying duty clashes with freedom

DeSantis went on to advertise that he was defending freedom in Florida. “Over the past few years, we have had to turn against the main institutions of society. The bureaucracy, the medical institutions, the legacy media, and even the President of the United States have all worked together to impose a biomedical safe state. society,” he said.

For about an hour, DeSantis and other invited speakers questioned the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines and masking, with speaker remarks suggesting that other states could revive masks or give college students and staff booster shots. He accused them of continuing their efforts to make demands.

“It’s just that we’re still doing this,” DeSantis said.

The deadline facing Florida on banning the COVID-19 order will bring the issue to Congress when it convenes in March. But it also gives DeSantis, widely seen as the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, a chance to fight back against the Biden administration.

COVID-19 vaccinations and masks are also a hot topic among many Republican voters nationwide. The Kaiser Family Foundation’s COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor says just 37% of Republicans have been vaccinated and boosted, compared to his 74% of voters who identify as Democrats. is reporting.

More than 84,000 Floridians have died from COVID-19, but the state has reported nearly 7.4 million cases since the pandemic began.

Florida Doctor Appears with DeSantis

Tuesday’s event included two community doctors. Dr. John Ward, a Panama City dermatologist who promotes “natural immunity” on his Twitter account, and Dr. Tim Boyett, a Gulf-his Breeze radiologist who has avoided vaccines. His “three-day regimen” was helped by what he said has been successful with other patients battling COVID-19.

Republican Panama City Rep. Neil Dunn, also a doctor, applauded the governor’s approach.

Among those joining DeSantis was General Joseph Radapo, a Florida State Surgeon who was recently criticized by colleagues at the University of Florida’s medical school, citing a possible heart risk the department found.

The governor’s office dismissed the criticism.

“There’s a lot of craziness out there,” Radapo said of mask recommendations from state governments, the federal government, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Public Health Director Radapo mocks California

He and DeSantis also mocked a California law that allows regulators to punish doctors for spreading false information about COVID-19 vaccinations and treatments.

“They should be allowed to say what they think and not be forced or inherently scared to feel unable to express themselves,” Radapo said.

DeSantis agreed and hopes state legislators will include a new ban banning proposals that could lead to regulatory penalties for doctors asking vaccine and mask questions in Florida. said there is.

“Florida will be the first place people want to go if very good doctors are forced out of California,” DeSantis said.

John Kennedy is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network’s Florida Capital Bureau. You can contact him at or @JKennedyReport on Twitter. DeSantis is ready to stir up Florida’s battle over COVID-19 mandates

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