On Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida announced that the state plans on officially filing a lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
At a press conference with Atty. Gen. Ashley Moody in Tampa, the governor said that Florida would join the states of Georgia and Alabama, along with private plaintiffs, in suing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration over the vaccine mandate it’s enforcing for employers.
“This is not consistent with a government of limited and enumerated powers,” DeSantis said. “There is no general police power, there is no power to mandate on the American people from the federal government,” he went on to say.
“Individuals should make informed choices about their own healthcare,” the Florida governor added. “They shouldn’t be coerced into getting the jab.”
OSA is giving businesses with over 100 employees until Jan. 4 to comply with the vaccine mandate. The agency has also threatened of fining them $14,000 per violation, per a fact sheet that the White House released on Thursday.
These employers must make sure that all their employees either got fully vaccinated or would undergo weekly testing. Mask-weary is also mandatory.
Since the lawsuit is against OSHA, it will head directly to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. DeSantis said state lawmakers will also come back for a special legislative session on Nov. 15. When they do, they plan to work on a bill that will provide protections for Florida employees.
“As far-reaching as this is, this is only the beginning for what they’re contemplating doing going forward,” DeSantis warned.
Apart from OSHA, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is enforcing a rule that requires health care workers in places participating in Medicare and Medicaid to be fully vaccinated. Unlike the OSHA rule, however, the CMS rule doesn’t allow the testing alternative to vaccination.