“These mandates, this is not about science,” the Republican governor said during a press conference in Alachua County. “Because if it was about science, you would recognize the infection conferred immunity.”
“Every single credible study always shows that it [natural immunity] provides good protection,” he continued. “So I don’t support mandates at all, but if you’re doing mandate based off this, if you were really following science, you would acknowledge this natural immunity. And instead they ignore it. … It’s really about using government power, control to mandate, much more than it is about the underlying medical issues that are involved.”
DeSantis’ comments came days after Biden issued an executive order mandating COVID-19 vaccinations among all federal workers and contractors in the executive branch, which does not include Congress. The president also said companies with 100 or more employees will have to mandate vaccines or weekly COVID-19 testing under a forthcoming emergency order by the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which will apply to more than 80 million private-sector workers. The administration said companies that don’t comply can face fines of almost $14,000.
DeSantis signed an executive order earlier this year banning so-called vaccine passports or requiring proof of vaccination. He said Monday that any cities or counties in Florida that require public government employees to get vaccinated in order to remain employed will be fined $5,000 for “every single violation” and that violators could potentially face millions of dollars in fines.
“We are going to stand for the men and women who are serving us. We are going to protect Florida jobs,” the governor said. “We are not going to let people be fired because of a vaccine mandate.”