Florida Permanently Bans Coronavirus Mandates in Schools, Businesses; Bans Gain-of-Function Research

Ron DeSantis
screenshot Governor Ron DeSantis, Facebook Watch

Florida is permanently banning coronavirus mandates in schools and businesses, protecting residents from the sorts of rules and restrictions imposed upon them nationwide throughout the pandemic.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) detailed some of the bills he is signing Thursday, explaining that one bill focuses primarily on “prescribing freedom.” More specifically, it makes some of the protections enacted over the past two years in the Sunshine State — such as those against vaccine mandates — permanent.

“It makes all these protections permanent that we’ve done over the last two years,” he said, explaining that schools cannot mandate the coronavirus shot, nor can the workplace require vaccine passports. 

“All that stuff must be made permanent,” he said, adding that those protections also extend to any other shot under emergency use authorization. 

“If it’s emergency use, how can they force you to take it, whether it’s a business, or whether it’s a government? That is wrong and that will not be allowed in the state of Florida,” the governor said to applause.

The legislation also formally rejects the World Health Organization (W.H.O.). In other words, any guidance adopted must be approved by the Florida Department of Health — not an international organization.

DeSantis explained that the country as a whole relied on flawed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), using the mask guidance in schools as a more specific example of a bad policy broadly embraced.

“We want to be a buffer against flawed guidance, and with the prospect of W.H.O. and its so-called treaty, I think they’re really looking at institutionalized lockdown policies, and that will not happen here,” DeSantis said.

Further, DeSantis said the bill prevents discrimination against patients based on their coronavirus vaccination status — something that was an issue in other parts of the country, as stories surfaced of individuals being denied organ transplants for refusing the coronavirus jab. 

DeSantis also announced he would sign Senate Bill 1580, which will ensure “freedom of speech for physicians. It also “ensures that physicians can follow the data — not dictates — and we want our physicians practicing evidence-based medicine.”  

“We don’t want to just defer to authority or to just follow the herd. So that is now law in the state of Florida. So this is kind of the opposite of what states like California has done,” he said, asking, “Where would you rather practice as a physician: A place where you can make your own judgments or not?”

Further, DeSantis announced that Florida has become the first state in the nation to ban gain-of-function research.

“We are the first state in the United States to ban formally gain-of-function research,” he said, noting that gain-of-function research was being conducted at the Wuhan lab with taxpayer dollars and likely led to the emergence of the virus.

“Where’s the accountability for people like Fauci and these other folks when they said they never did any of this? And we know much of that was not true. So I’m glad that the legislature stepped up to make a difference there,” DeSantis added.



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