Florida fines county $3.5 million after employees fired for not getting COVID-19 vaccine
A county in Florida enacted a mandatory vaccination policy and now faces a hefty fine.
The Florida Health Department fined Leon County on Tuesday for violating the state's ban on vaccine mandates after the county fired 14 employees for not complying with its policy, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Tuesday.
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"We must protect the jobs of Floridians and preserve the ability of Floridians to make their own decisions regarding what shots to take," DeSantis wrote on Twitter.
Leon County's administrator, Vincent Long, said in a statement the county's vaccine mandate "was not only completely legally justifiable, but it was a necessary and responsible action."
He added that the county intends to "enforce its rights" using available remedies to settle the issue with its vaccine mandate and the state's law against it.
DeSantis, a Republican, said on Sept. 13 he would oppose any mandates for the COVID-19 vaccine. This included supporting a lawsuit against the city of Gainesville to stop it from reimposing one such mandate.
The Leon County news comes one day after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a statewide order banning businesses and institutions from requiring individuals to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. In implementing the order, Abbot said Texans should be allowed to “opt out of being forced to take a vaccine for reasons of conscience or medical reasons.”
Both Florida's and Texas's rules against vaccine mandate defy President Joe Biden's order that requires businesses with over 100 employees to mandate employees to either get vaccinated or tested every week. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, criticized both governors and their stance against vaccine mandates.
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"Over 700,000 American lives have been lost due to COVID-19, including more than 56,000 in Florida and over 68,000 in Texas, and every leader should be focused on supporting efforts to save lives and end the pandemic," Psaki said during a press briefing on Monday.
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Tags: News, Florida, Coronavirus, Vaccination, Ron DeSantis
Original Author: Asher Notheis
Original Location: Florida fines county $3.5 million after employees fired for not getting COVID-19 vaccine