The state of Florida, governed by Republican Ron DeSantis, announced that starting Sept. 16 it will begin issuing fines of up to $5,000 to businesses, schools, and even government agencies that require people to provide proof of having a COVID (CCP) virus vaccination.
DeSantis signed an executive order on Friday, April 2 to ban health passports across the state of Florida citing the harm the passports create to people’s individual freedom as they attempt to lead normal lives. Beginning Sept. 16, the state will be able to fine those who fail to comply with the regulation up to $5,000.
“Promises made, promises kept,” DeSantis spokesperson Taryn Fenske said Wednesday, referring to the implementation of the regulation announced in April, AP News reported.
The measure has been widely accepted in Republican circles and among those who understand that vaccination cannot be mandatory but a fact of free citizen choice. But not everyone understands it that way, especially among Democrats and liberals, most of whom have opted to support mandatory mass vaccination.
Among them, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the only Democrat elected statewide and a candidate who hopes to challenge DeSantis for governor next year criticized the fine system.
The dispute between mandatory versus freedom to vaccinate affects the entire country, and the debates seem endless. Every state is taking action to further its goals. While former Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York launched the nation’s first health passport in his state on April 1, Florida was the first to ban it.
DeSantis’ executive order prohibits all government agencies, subsidiaries, and retailers from requiring people to have a health passport or any similar documentation where people have to prove they are vaccinated to enter a store or conduct everyday business.
DeSantis has repeatedly emphasized his willingness to allow all Floridians who wish to be vaccinated to do so but reiterated that the vaccine is not mandatory and that so-called health passports cause harm to people’s privacy and freedom.
The Florida governor’s decisions have often been criticized in the hegemonic media, but he has managed to gain much popularity among patriotic Americans for his libertarian approach, similar to that of former President Trump, and for fiercely opposing the advancement of the radical leftist agenda.
The vaccine passport ban issue is not the only thing DeSantis has pushed for when it comes to measures to preserve freedoms in times of the pandemic.
On July 30, he issued an executive order prohibiting schools from imposing mask-wearing obligations, leaving the option up to parents to decide.
“In Florida, there will be no closures, there will be no school closures, there will be no restrictions or mandates in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said when he announced the order in a speech in southwest Cape Coral.