Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced a policy proposal banning many pandemic mitigation efforts involving mask mandates and vaccine requirements in the state.
The proposal would permanently prohibit Covid-19 vaccine passports in Florida, prohibit Florida schools from instituting Covid-19 vaccine or mask requirements, forbid businesses in the state from requiring masks and bar “employers from hiring or firing based on mRNA jabs.”
“When the world lost its mind, Florida was a refuge of sanity, serving strongly as freedom’s linchpin,” DeSantis said in a news release. “These measures will ensure Florida remains this way and will provide landmark protections for free speech for medical practitioners.”
DeSantis has been an outspoken critic of most Covid-19 pandemic mitigation measures. In December, he asked the Florida Supreme Court to approve an investigation of “any and all wrongdoing in Florida with respect to Covid-19 vaccines.”
In the petition filed with the court, the Republican governor requested the empaneling of a grand jury to investigate a broad group of entities associated with the development, distribution and promotion of the vaccines, including pharmaceutical manufacturers and their executive officers, as well as medical associations.
The GOP governor signed legislation in 2021 that imposed fines on businesses and hospitals that required inoculation against Covid-19 without exemptions or alternatives.