Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday, Jan. 17, announced a proposal that would make protections from COVID-19 mandates permanent in the state.
DeSantis made the announcement in Panama City Beach, along with Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo.
The proposal would protect Florida residents from losing jobs because of COVID-19 vaccine mandates; protects parents’ rights; and institutes additional protections that prevent discrimination based on COVID vaccine status.
“When the world lost its mind, Florida was a refuge of sanity, serving strongly as freedom’s linchpin,” DeSantis said. “These measures will ensure Florida remains this way and will provide landmark protections for free speech for medical practitioners.”
Ladapo added: “As a health sciences researcher and physician, I have personally witnessed accomplished scientists receive threats due to their unorthodox positions. However, many of these positions have proven to be correct, as we’ve all seen over the past few years. All medical professionals should be encouraged to engage in scientific discourse without fearing for their livelihoods or their careers.”
The proposal also includes first amendment rights guarantees for medical professionals that would ensure no one loses his or her job or medical license for voicing his or her professional opinions in Florida. The legislation will safeguard medical professionals from discrimination based on religious views.
In 2021, DeSantis signed legislation to protect Florida jobs and parents’ rights to make health care decisions for their students, and banned private employer vaccine mandates and mask mandates across the state.