Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Monday celebrated the reinstatement of a Florida doctor who temporarily lost his job because of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate.
“Jeff, a Florida doctor I met in Brandon at the Special Session bill signing, was suspended from his job due to Biden’s mandate. He has now been reinstated due to our efforts to stop this heavy-handed federal mandate,” DeSantis announced, declaring that “freedom has a home here in Florida”:
Jeff, a Florida doctor I met in Brandon at the Special Session bill signing, was suspended from his job due to Biden's mandate. He has now been reinstated due to our efforts to stop this heavy-handed federal mandate.
Freedom has a home here in Florida. pic.twitter.com/4TLcNSehCl
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) December 6, 2021
Indeed, last month, DeSantis, signed legislation in Brandon, Florida — an obvious nod to the “Let’s Go, Brandon!” movement sweeping the nation — designed to protect Florida workers from losing their jobs over vaccine mandates.
“And if you look at what we’re doing today, Florida is leading. This is the strongest piece of legislation that’s been enacted anywhere in the country in this regard, and we’re awfully proud to be able to it here today at Brandon Honda,” he said at the time of his announcement, describing the legislation as “something that is going to make a big, big difference for an awful lot of people.”
“We are respecting people’s individual freedom in this state,” he added.
The legislation itself specifically bars private sector employers from implementing the mandate without providing the following five exemptions:
1. Medical reasons, as determined by a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant. Medical reasons include pregnancy or expectation of pregnancy.
2. Religious reasons, based on a sincerely held belief
3. Immunity based on prior COVID–19 infection, as documented by a lab test
4. Periodic testing, agreeing to comply with regular testing at no cost to the employee
5. Personal protective equipment (PPE), agreeing to comply with use of employer–provided PPE
Establishment media critics have attacked the bill, contending it provides too many loopholes, allowing employees to evade the vaccine.
“The loopholes don’t stop there. The law allows employees to claim an exemption based on a ‘sincerely held religious belief.’ No verification from a clergy member is necessary. The employee simply can present a ‘statement,'” the editorial board of the Sun Sentinel complained.
The Tampa Bay Times also cited “experts” who “say the rules handed down by the state Health Department come with loopholes that are easily exploited by workers who do not wish to get vaccinated.”
Over one year ago, President Biden promised he “wouldn’t demand” mandatory vaccines for the general public.