Gov. DeSantis: Florida will file lawsuit against COVID-19 vaccine mandate

'People are so sick of constantly being bossed around, restricted, mandated.'

Florida declared war Thursday against the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate, joining a handful of Republican-led states filing lawsuits to halt the controversial health order.

Alongside Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo in Tallahassee, DeSantis vowed to protect the livelihoods of the unvaccinated and defeat the emergency health mandate in court. At least two other states will join the suit — Georgia and Alabama.

“People are so sick of constantly being bossed around, restricted, mandated,” DeSantis said. “It’s important to speak up for people’s individual right to make decisions for themselves.”

The Governor’s vow came hours after White House officials unveiled elements of the U.S. employer mandate.

Under the rule, employers with more than 100 workers must ensure employees are fully vaccinated or provide weekly COVID-19 testing. The mandate, officials say, will impact roughly 84 million workers, or two-thirds of private sector jobs. The rule will take effect Jan. 4 — a timeline DeSantis suggested undermines the alleged need and urgency professed by proponents of the mandate.

Implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the order threatens steep fines. Businesses may face penalties upward of $14,000 per violation, OSHA officials said.

DeSantis suggested Florida may seek ways to thwart the federal fines. He pitched the creation of a “defense fund,” a counterpunch that would essentially remove the teeth of Biden’s vaccine order.

“I think there’s ways that we can create some support to be able to basically pay some of these fines off,” DeSantis said.

The Governor’s remarks garnered praise from Republican leadership in the Legislature. Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls released a joint statement after the announcement, lambasting the health mandate as an unconstitutional overreach of government. The Legislature will convene for a Special Session latter this month to craft ways to bypass the order.

“The Legislature has always been a voice for employees and business owners across Florida who are busy working and who don’t have the time or the resources to review and implement a 490-page emergency rule or to independently fight back against unconstitutional federal mandates,” said the conservative pair. “We will not stand by while the Biden Administration pits hardworking Floridians against their employers.”

The legal move, however, also drew arrows. Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried — a Democratic gubernatorial contender — swiftly criticized the announcement in a news release. Fried is among the more vocal opponents of DeSantis.

“We are in this position due to a failure of leadership from Governor DeSantis who has been providing a platform for conspiracy theorists and extremism by denying the efficacy of vaccines and science-based public health policies,” Fried said. “The Governor himself is now trying to enact his own mandates to block businesses, local governments, and school boards from protecting their own constituents. Once again, Governor DeSantis is putting his personal ambitions ahead of the well-being of Floridians.”

Speaking for roughly half an hour, DeSantis argued a multitude of points to reporters.

The Republican Governor asserted the mandate will do more harm than good. Rather than compel Americans to get the vaccine, DeSantis insisted many will push back even harder.

“You think the first thing they’re going to do is run out and get the jab after they’ve already been fired over it?” DeSantis asked. “Of course they’re not going to do that. I don’t even see how this moves the needle in a positive direction for those folks. This is going to cause more economic pain.”

DeSantis characterized the order as unconstitutional and a flagrant example of government overreach. He accused the Biden administration of peddling medical policy under the guise of workplace regulation with emergency powers.

The government, he added, will soon push the mandate even further, describing the present rule as only the “tip of the iceberg.”

“Those individuals who have gone through the normal vaccination series for COVID, you will be determined to be vaccinated very soon,” DeSantis said. “They’re going to tell you you’re unvaccinated and you have to get a booster. Otherwise you could face loss of employment or other types of penalty.”

A separate order, meanwhile, carries more stringent requirements against select unvaccinated Americans.

Health care workers at facilities and hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid will be required to get vaccinated under a ruling issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Additionally, employees of the executive branch and contractors in business with the federal government will also be required to get vaccinated — with no option to test out.

The 490-page rollout comes weeks after Biden lashed out at unvaccinated Americans. They, Biden charged in September, are causing “a lot of damage.”

“We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin, and your refusal has cost all of us,” Biden told unvaccinated Americans.

Attorney General Ashley Moody plans to file the suit Friday. In a statement, she questioned the authority of OSHA to implement the mandate and described it as unlawful.

“The remarkable ease at which this president will abandon the rule of law and separation of powers is astonishing and devastating to the autonomy of American workers,” Moody said. “For this reason, I will take swift legal action to stop this unprecedented overreach by the federal government—to protect Florida and our workers from the unlawful edicts emanating from President Biden and his handlers.”

The Special Session begins Nov. 15.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Hector Lavoe

    November 4, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    The Dems are still trying to force these poison Jabs into the arms of Americans even after Fauci was caught in a bolt face lie regarding his involve in the gain of function for COVID-19? Its time to round up the ruling class i.e. Prince/King Charles, Bushes, Rothchild just to name a few. Why are US governors following the edicts of the United Nation? These jabs will be linked to a vaccine passport which will be linked to our Carbon passes. We must not comply with this tyranny on our humanity…Now their going after our children with these jabs which will wipe out their immune systems…Lord have mercy!

    • Alex

      November 4, 2021 at 8:54 pm


      The freakshow right hasn’t proven one lie Fauci has told.

      And no gain of function research has been conducted since it was banned.

      You still can choose not to get the vaccine based on a bunch of paranoid horsecrap, but don’t expect to go to places you can infect others.

      I’m going to ignore the rest of the conspiracy theory nonsense you posted.

  • Hector Lavoe

    November 5, 2021 at 10:12 am

    Alex, the beauty of America is that everyone has freedom and unalienable rights given to from God(big G). Mandates are for non free people and who are considered chattel. “The freakshow right” and anyone in between has to right to choose what goes into their body. Using coercion, and bully tactics is very Kafkaesque!
    My body my choice? No? Or are we state property and it their body and their choice? Nothing I posted in my original comment is conspiracy theory but instead facts on groups powerful individuals that conspired against innocent people. aka the great reset.
    You think the heated exchange between Senator Paul and Dr. Fauci is all on made up stuff? Fauci lied under oath! The NIH went back and changed the original definition of gain of function research on their website to cover their crimes against humanity. Frontline doctors from all over the world are speaking out and publishing scientific papers on the adverse reaction people are having after taking the Jabs. How many booster shots does one need? One every month plus a pill?

    • Alex

      November 5, 2021 at 11:06 am

      Yes you’re a conspiracy theorist, and yes you can choose not to get vaccinated, and no, no one has proven Fauci lied, and no the NIH didn’t change the definition (which is a conspiracy theory in case you were confused), and no credible doctors are speaking out against it.

      When you can prove any of these with those fact things instead of nonsense you read on Facebook, I’ll pay more attention to it.

      Facts with credible sources are all I will bother to read if you think you can find some.

      Good luck.

    • Ocean Joe

      November 8, 2021 at 2:39 pm

      America is paralyzed by morons who put their individual desires (not rights) above the collective welfare of the nation. There have always been selfish people, don’t glorify it.
      You worship Desantis. If the shot is good for him, how about you? Quit with the selfishness. It really is about all of us.
      Desantis is cynical enough to be your antivax champ for your votes, but ask him why he got the shot. Because he’s not an idiot.

  • Tom

    November 6, 2021 at 8:13 am

    Fauci had perjured himself before Congress.
    Yes Alex, wear two masks. That’s one of his all time whoppers. Fauci has been around two long long. Since Reagan’s appointment in 80’s.

    Thanks to Rand Paul as he’s held him accountable.

  • Andrew Finn

    November 6, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    “People are so sick of constantly being bossed around” ———- Hey Emperor DeSantis — “People are so sick of constantly being bossed around by the jackass in Tallahassee too” Can’t wait to vote for anybody who runs against your sorry ass next year !!!!!!!!!!

  • Tom

    November 7, 2021 at 2:45 am

    DeSantis will annihilate your clown show opponents. Nola contendre.

  • Ken

    November 8, 2021 at 5:20 pm

    The following companies, professional sports support, fund, Joe Biden, the Democrat party, BLM and other far left organizations. Financial BOYCOTT whenever possible the following socialist enablers. Do your part. Patriots, pass this text along….

    *Designates active participant in Biden campaign & BLM.

    American Airlines
    American Express
    Bank of America
    Baskin Robbins
    Best Buy
    Carl’s Jr.
    *Capital One
    Corona Beer
    Dell Technologies
    Delta Airlines
    Discovery channel
    Discovery Plus
    Dunkin Donuts
    Ford Motor Co.
    General Motors
    *Goldman Sachs
    Jack in the Box
    Johnson & Johnson
    Levi Strauss & Co
    Little Caesars
    *Lowes Hardware
    *Modello Beer
    Nerd Wallet
    Pacifico Beer
    Rocket Mortgage
    *State Farm Insurance
    *Target Stores
    The General Insurance
    United Airlines
    US Bank
    USA today
    *Varo Bank
    Wells Fargo

Comments are closed.


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