Lauren Moye, FISM News
Florida’s Department of Health has imposed a $3.57 million fine against one of their counties, citing over 700 violations of the state’s law against vaccine passport requirements.
In yesterday’s health department press release, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said, “It is unacceptable that Leon County violated Florida law, infringed on current and former employees’ medical privacy, and fired loyal public servants because of their personal health decisions.”
He vowed, “We will continue fighting for Floridians’ rights and the Florida Department of Health will continue to enforce the law. We’re going to stand up for Floridians’ jobs, stand up for Floridians’ livelihoods, and stand up for freedom.”
Leon County, part of the Tallahassee metropolitan area, announced on July 28 that all government employees would be required to submit proof of vaccination status despite the fact that state Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 2006 into law two months earlier.
This law, according to the letter sent to Leon County, “prohibits governmental entities from requiring that a person provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-infection recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the governmental entity’s operations.”
714 Leon County employees were given until 11:59 pm on Oct. 1 to submit their vaccine verification. Three days later, the government terminated fourteen of these employees. The county was given an advanced warning that they might be in violation of the law but did not rescind their employee vaccination mandate.
SB 2006 allows fines of up to $5,000 per violation. The county will have thirty days to pay the amount.
State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said, “Individuals have every right to choose how to best protect themselves and their families, and the Department will continue to enforce this law.”
Leon County Administrator Vincent Long disagrees with DeSantis and other state officials, claiming that the mandate was necessary. He told CNN, “The County strongly contends that our employee vaccination requirement was not only completely legally justifiable, but it was a necessary and responsible action to take to keep our employees safe, protect the public, and ensure our readiness as a frontline response organization.”
DeSantis is notably unapologetic in his stand against vaccine mandates. He tweeted the health department’s press release yesterday along with further commitment to medical freedom:
We must protect the jobs of Floridians and preserve the ability of Floridians to make their own decisions regarding what shots to take.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 12, 2021
Gainesville, FL was another city that was in potential violation of the Florida law. They, however, reversed their mandate in a decision that DeSantis hailed as “a victory for liberty.”
Several weeks ago, DeSantis and other top Florida government officials also participated in a rally to oppose vaccine mandates for first responders. While many of these officials claimed to be fully vaccinated, they also voiced strong support for a citizen’s right to make medical decisions.