Matt Gaetz asks for Ron DeSantis’ help in fight against music festival vaccine rule
Matt Gaetz with Ron DeSantis. Image by Jacob Ogles.

Gaetz DeSantis
FDOH is going to follow up on Gaetz's gripe.

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz is appealing to Gov. Ron DeSantis to take action against a songwriters’ festival that wants more than just music appreciation from attendees. And it looks like action is pending

The Panhandle Republican asked DeSantis on Monday to respond to what Gaetz’s office called “the illegal implementation of vaccine passports at the 30A Songwriters Festival in the 1st Congressional District of Florida.”

The festival starts Friday. But it appears that the state, via the Florida Department of Health, will take action before gates open.

“The prohibition on vaccine passports is also a state law,” notes DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw. “Anyone who suspects a violation is encouraged to report it to the Florida Department of Health, the agency that investigates these complaints and when warranted, takes enforcement action against entities found to be in violation of the law. The fine is $5000 per violation, per the law.”

“The Governor’s Office is aware of this complaint, and it has been referred to FDOH for appropriate follow-up,” Pushaw notes.

The festival website asserts that with “more than 175 artists, 225 performances, and 30 venues, the 30A Songwriters Festival has something for everyone.” Gaetz believes, however, that not “everyone” has the same access to the festival’s aural delights.

Gaetz alleged “a blatant violation of Executive Order 21-81, ‘Prohibiting COVID-19 Vaccine Passports.'”

“Your executive order allows entities to engage in COVID-19 screening, generally, but does not permit different treatment for the vaccinated and unvaccinated,” the Congressman contends.

Gaetz argued the festival discriminates against the unvaccinated by requiring proof of a negative test for those who have not had their shots.

This is a position shared by the Governor’s Office.

“With COVID surging among fully vaccinated individuals, and mounting evidence that the vaccines are completely ineffective in preventing infection and transmission, the whole concept of a vaccine passport is anti-science,” Pushaw notes, before issuing a warning to other promoters pushing vax requirements.

“While we are proud to welcome music festivals and other large events to the free state of Florida, all entities doing business in our state must follow all applicable laws and regulations. Following the law and following the science are not mutually exclusive – anyone who truly wants to ‘follow the science’ would reject the idea of vaccine passports for a shot that does not provide sterilizing immunity,” Pushaw noted.

The festival requires attendees to “show proof of full vaccination (two shots of Moderna or Pfizer or one shot of Johnson & Johnson) or proof of a professionally administered negative COVID test within 72 hours immediately prior to the start of the Festival.”

Booster shots are not required.

In his letter to DeSantis, Gaetz noted that taxpayer funds via the Tourist Development Council of Walton County are used to produce this event.

“Vaccine passports should not be funded by Florida taxpayers,” Gaetz says.

Regardless of taxpayer funds in play, the state’s position is clear, and it aligns with the Congressman here.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • AnnainFL

    January 10, 2022 at 6:08 pm

    How dare they not want covid running rampant at their festival!

    • cmac1425

      January 11, 2022 at 1:02 pm

      ALL attendees should have to show proof of negative test. Not just the people who have not gotten the totally useless and ineffective vaccine.

  • PeterH

    January 10, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    South Florida theater and music venues and some businesses….including cruise ships have been imposing vaccine mandates for months. No businesses are listening to Gaetz or DeSantis.

  • [email protected]

    January 10, 2022 at 6:35 pm

    Amazing… Isn’t at least part of this Gaetz’s district? I guess he was too busy roaming the country with MTG spreading the defeated ex-presidents’ lies to be involved with local matters until less than 4 days to the festival. What a dweeb.

  • nail

    January 10, 2022 at 7:24 pm

    When Trump was in Miami and Orlando they required vaccines and masks. If Desantis stops this there will a few lawsuits, because he cannot do for one but not another.
    Desantis may think he can but it will cost the state taxpayers a lot of money. Not hat Desantis cares, because like trump, he cares for no one but himself.

  • Wendy

    January 11, 2022 at 9:34 am

    Every time I see “free state of Florida” I want to puke. Those of us who take staying Covid free sure don’t have much.

    • AnnainFL

      January 11, 2022 at 10:33 am


  • curious

    January 11, 2022 at 11:56 am

    What ever happened to Matt’s alleged crimes involving drugs and young ladies? Me thinks that Rona liked to party with his pal Matt too. That Seminole tax collector must have scored a sweet plea deal: to read the news Matt and him were up to their necks in Molly and her tricks. God bless “the free state of Florida” to quote Rona De Sand Tits!

    • James-in-FL

      January 11, 2022 at 1:18 pm

      Wow just wow, I’ll bet every time something doesn’t go your way you just attack “growl” no talking, Is the puppy butt hurt that other people don’t want their Freedoms infringed on by something that even Science says doesn’t work.
      I suggest you get off CNN and Twitter and get a life.

  • FL-DeeDee

    January 12, 2022 at 10:43 am

    BRAVO! Rep. Gaetz and Gov. DeSantis!!!
    Reading the comments on here, people have bought into the Big Lie peddled by the regime.
    People: Virus is gonna virus. Not only are passport and vaccine mandates UNCONSTITUTIONAL the vaccine hysteria is insane. If you personally are concerned about catching the flu, STAY HOME. BUT you have absolutely NO right to demand others get vaccinated, etc. If you are vaccinated, what is your gripe?
    Natural immunity is far stronger and more effective than the not-a-vaccine vaccine.

    • AnnainFL

      January 12, 2022 at 11:18 am

      natural immunity is not an option for some who live with someone who has stage 4 cancer, but yes, if you have the vaccine it does nothing against getting it and spreading it. Strict testing and strict masking is the only option to avoid mass spreading and we all know that would never be an option b/c too many people are against that or don’t believe its a big enough deal for that. For now the people who live with high risk people will have to stay home and watch everyone else enjoy their lives, like me.

    • Hammer

      January 12, 2022 at 8:13 pm

      You are truly a brainwashed idiot.
      Yet expected from uneducated floriduh spread necks
      Godspeed darwin.

  • Jeffrey

    January 12, 2022 at 12:50 pm

    Many people are fooled by following trends but majority on earth are absent of being convinced to believe a lie. Trump did win the election by fully apprehended law. On the other hand a fully apprehended law was not practiced before during and after the 2020 election. The oligarchy has always been paying to create chaos amongst mankind since that is how they’ve always been against humanity, that cause of chaos is relative to people defending evil no matter where you walk, what you talk bout, how you display or project your claims, when this siding with evil you are continually patronizing people who follow God, follow law and stand up for what is right. Weak ones Are convinced to believe lies mostly because they reinforce them to be believed even though they are not. Those who no their guilty will deteriorate from the inside out. Good luck with that.

    • Don’t Look Up

      January 12, 2022 at 1:13 pm

      Crazy talk.

      Look over here instead!

  • Hammer

    January 12, 2022 at 8:17 pm

    Leave it to 2 weasels like pedophile coke snorting Matty boy and deathsantis.

    Even worse is the ignorant statement form floriduh state spokesperson.

    Leave it to the spreadnecks where the infection rate is the highest in the US to tell their brainwashed monkeys don’t mask up and the vaccine is worthless.

    Wow no wonder this state is full
    Of uneducated hillbilly spread necks.

    Godspeed Darwin.

Comments are closed.


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