Monday, November 15, 2021

Isn’t That Special

Florida has a lot of problems to deal with, including sea level rise, underfunded school districts, and healthcare for the poor and the elderly among them.  So Gov. DeSantis is calling a special session of the legislature.  But it’s not to address any of those problems; it’s to make an ad for his re-election campaign next year and possible White House run in 2024. From the Washington Post:

TALLAHASSEE — A special legislative session dubbed “Keep Florida Free” begins Monday at the behest of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who wants lawmakers to pass more measures to block coronavirus vaccine mandates by public and private employers.

The four bills being considered would ratchet up the penalties for businesses, local governments and other entities that require workers to be vaccinated against the virus and students to wear masks in school. According to DeSantis (R), the session will strengthen as well as augment rules already in place — in part through his own executive orders.

“At the end of the day, we want people to be able to make informed decisions for themselves, but we’ve got to stop bossing people around,” DeSantis said last week as he officially announced his 2022 reelection bid. “We’ve got to stop the coercion. We’ve got to stop trying to browbeat people.”

By again calling legislators back to Tallahassee, he added, “We’re going to be striking a blow for freedom.”

But some say the governor has gone from fighting the coronavirus to fighting efforts to combat it. This week’s special session is the second one this year, and even in the GOP-controlled legislature, not all Republicans are on board.

“I support freedom for businesses to make sure they’re successful,” Senate President-Designate Kathleen Passidomo (R) said recently.

Democrats have been highly critical of the gathering. DeSantis and his allies “want to throw some red meat to the base and keep them happy,” said state Rep. Michael Grieco of Miami Beach. “Decisions are being made based on politics, not based on the well-being and health and safety of Floridians.”

Though the governor initially supported the vaccines when they became available early this year, he now calls them “jabs” and promotes stories about individuals who claim to have been harmed by them. His new state surgeon general refuses to wear a mask and says that when it comes to being vaccinated against coronavirus, “people need to continue and stick with their intuition and their sensibilities.”

Physician Peter Hotez, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and a leading expert on the virus, calls DeSantis part of an “anti-science aggression” that is making it more difficult to combat the pandemic.

“We’ve lost 150,000 unvaccinated Americans since June 1 whose lives could have been saved if they’d been vaccinated,” Hotez said Monday. “And we’re about to lose another 50,000 by the end of the year based on projections. And this is happening because of misinformation or disinformation.”

This evil little troll is fine with running roughshod over the rights of businesses and school districts to run themselves — something that used to be the core of Republican belief in “smaller government” — so he can feed the base beast of the Trumpers in the state. That more people may get sick and die is just collateral damage.

The question then becomes how many more people have to die in order for Ron DeSantis to get re-elected?

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