Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Shots Fired

From the Miami Herald:

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida will fine local governments $5,000 for each employee who is required to be vaccinated, threatening some cities and counties with millions of dollars in penalties for adopting strict vaccine “mandates.”

During a Monday news conference in Alachua County, DeSantis vowed to fight Gainesville’s requirement that employees be vaccinated by the end of the month or be fired.

“We are not going to let people get fired because of the vaccine mandate,” DeSantis said. “You don’t just cast aside people who have been serving faithfully over this issue, over what’s basically a personal choice over their individual health.”

The result could be the state imposing millions of dollars in fines under a new state law barring Florida businesses and local governments from requiring proof of a vaccine “to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the governmental entity’s operations in this state.” A new Department of Health rule enforcing the law is set to take effect Thursday.

Gainesville, Orange County and Leon County have each passed requirements that employees be vaccinated or be fired, with exemptions for religious or medical reasons. DeSantis noted that Orange County has thousands of employees.

Other counties and cities, such as Miami-Dade and Tampa, have adopted less onerous approaches, requiring employees be vaccinated or submit to weekly tests. DeSantis’ spokesperson did not respond when asked whether the $5,000 fines would apply to that policy.

Miami-Dade County says this will not apply to it because it doesn’t require vaccines. It requires testing, but you can opt out if you have proof of vaccination.

“The policy he announced are for governments requiring vaccines,” said Rachel Johnson, communications director for Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “If that’s the case, it shouldn’t have any impact on our policy, which is just requiring testing with the option to opt out if you are vaccinated and choose to present the information that you are vaccinated.”

It’s a personal choice to wear white after Labor Day. It’s not a personal choice to endanger the lives of other people because you’re a snowflake who can’t wear a mask or would rather ingest horse dewormer.

It’s easy to understand why DeSantis would politicize the vaccine issue: it’s his idea of how to rally the fear and loathing of the gullible and the weak. He doesn’t have to actually come up with a comprehensive mission to govern; all he has to do is rattle off the Trumpist line of lies and bullshit and he’s home and dry. The downside is that it’s killing people, but as far as he’s concerned, that’s a small price to pay for staying in power.

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