Gov. DeSantis Proposes Legislation To Protect Florida’s Post-Pandemic Freedoms

Toby Hazlewood

DeSantis announces plans for a permanent ban of mandates restricting Floridians' freedom of choice.
Governor Ron DeSantisPhoto byTwitter of GovRonDeSantis

On January 18, Governor DeSantis took to Twitter to confirm plans for legislation which would ensure that the people of Florida remain free to make their own future choices around vaccination status and mask-wearing.

A statement issued by DeSantis on his self-styled 'common sense' proposal outlines the various means by which he intends to:

...protect Floridians from the "Biomedical Security State"

What is being proposed?

DeSantis' campaigns have long been centered around the essential right to freedom for Florida and its people. The newest legislative proposal follows suit, retaining the concept of freedom of choice at its core.

The proposal includes:

  • Permanent prohibition of vaccine passports in Florida;
  • Permanent prohibition of vaccine and mask requirements in all Florida schools;
  • Permanent prohibition of masking requirements at businesses; and
  • Permanent prohibition of employers from hiring or firing based on mRNA jabs.

Also included are first amendment rights guarantees for medical professionals, ensuring no one loses their job or medical license for voicing their professional opinions in Florida. The legislation intends to safeguard medical professionals from discrimination based on their personal religious views.

Referring back to the peak of the global pandemic in light of his proposed new measures, DeSantis contends:

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

Consistent messaging

DeSantis has been outspoken about his opposition to restrictions such as lockdowns and closures throughout the global pandemic and in December 2022 called for investigation into whether Floridians were misled by pharmaceutical companies about the safety and side effects of COVID-19 vaccines. The Florida Supreme Court has since agreed to DeSantis's request for a grand jury, which will meet for one year before making a decision.

In a December 2022 update to the Kaiser Family Foundation COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, it was reported that 38% of Democrats have gotten the updated bivalent booster compared to 12% of Republicans.

It will be interesting to note what impact the legislation (if passed) will have on future vaccine uptake in Florida and indeed whether DeSantis' outspoken stance will have any bearing on the success of his anticipated GOP candidacy in 2024.

Do you think Florida is leading the way with protecting freedoms? Should other states follow suit? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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