Florida was one of the first states in America to abandon pandemic precautions under the direction of Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The governor unveiled legislation this week that would stop the state from going backward, and his previous measures were praised by an overwhelming reelection victory.
On Tuesday, DeSantis stated his intention to outlaw coercive COVID-era health protocols permanently in the state.
DeSantis stated in a statement that “when the world had lost its mind, Florida was a bastion of sanity, serving forcefully as freedom’s cornerstone. These measures will guarantee that Florida stays this way and will offer medical professionals landmark safeguards for free expression.”
The so-called “Prescribe Freedom” action, which is described as a “powerful pro-freedom, anti-mandate action,” would “permanently safeguard Floridians from losing their employment due to COVID-19 vaccine requirements, defend parents’ rights, and implement extra protections that help stop discrimination that is based on COVID-19 vaccine status,” according to its supporters.
The measure would also once again bar schools from enforcing vaccine and mask mandates and forbid employers from basing hiring decisions solely on mRNA immunizations.
A similar proposal was rejected by DeSantis in Nov. 2021, outlawing vaccination requirements for state government, schools, and private employers as well as the isolation of healthy pupils.
Since several of these earlier anti-mandate clauses are slated to expire in June, it is thought that longer-lasting remedies are required.
The proposed legislation would safeguard medical practitioners’ freedom of speech, their “right to disagree with the favored narrative of the medical community,” and their religious beliefs in addition to retaining these prohibitions on coercive policies.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo, the Surgeon General of Florida, stated that he has “personally observed renowned scientists receive threats because of their unconventional opinions.”
“Many of these opinions have proven to be accurate, as we have all witnessed over the previous few years,” Ladapo continued. “It should be encouraged that all medical practitioners participate in scientific conversation without worrying about their jobs or careers.”
According to The Miami Herald, DeSantis intends to resurrect Senate Bill 1184 and House Bill 687, two laws that failed in 2022, as part of his “pro-freedom” campaign. As a result, regulatory bodies cannot penalize physicians for their opinions on medicine unless it can be established that their words “caused the direct physical injury” of a recent patient.
There are still opponents in the medical establishment, the economic world, and others who would rather have COVID emergency requirements on hand even after President Biden’s categorical pronouncement last year stating that the pandemic was already over, and despite having won the approval of over 60% of voters.
The Herald said that hundreds of major corporations, including Starbucks, Disney, Walmart, Delta, and Live Nation, accepted vaccine requirements and fired employees who insisted on maintaining their right to bodily autonomy.
Democrats in Florida seem as resentful of their diminished ability to impose pressure.
DeSantis and his administration were referred to as “the No. 1 dealer of misinformation from the anti-vax establishment” by state representative Fentrice Driskell (D).
The governor’s support for freedom, she continued, “is a false philosophy with serious repercussions.”
“The bureaucracy, the medical establishment, the legacy media, and even the president of the United States were working together to impose a bio-medical security state on society,” DeSantis stated on Tuesday, adding that “The Free State of Florida did not happen by accident.”