KEY POINTS

  • Ron DeSantis said Biden’s vaccine mandates were “unconstitutional”
  • DeSantis has also said he will challenge vaccine mandates in federal court
  • Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas has banned vaccine mandates in his state

Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., has said he is considering legislation that will provide a $5,000 bonus for police officers to relocate to Florida so they won’t have to deal with vaccine mandates in their states.

Speaking with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” DeSantis said that Florida is “actively working to recruit out of state law enforcement” who may be risking removal from their posts due to vaccine mandates. The Florida governor said he is hoping to sign the legislation in the next legislative session. 

DeSantis said, “what Biden’s doing is unconstitutional. He does not have the authority to do this.”

The governor told Bartiromo that vaccine mandates take “away people’s personal choices” and “will wreak havoc in the economy” due to “disruptions in medical, logistics, in law enforcement” when people who don’t want to get vaccinated either lose their jobs or voluntarily quit.

DeSantis further noted that in Florida, vaccinations are a choice for workers, “but we want to make sure we’re protecting your jobs and your livelihoods.” He went on to call the attention of law enforcement in New York, Seattle, and Minneapolis. “If you’re not being treated well, we will treat you better here,” he said.

This is not the first time DeSantis has spoken up against vaccine mandates. Earlier this month, the Republican governor said during a media briefing that Florida will take vaccine mandates by President Joe Biden and employers to federal court, Politico reported. “I am offended that a police officer could potentially lose their job,” he said at that time. DeSantis isn’t alone in his battle against vaccine mandates.

Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, recently issued Executive Order GA40, which prohibits any entity in the state from forcing individuals who refuse vaccinations to get their shots, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The order includes private businesses. In a tweet announcing the order, Abbott noted that while COVID-19 vaccines are “safe, effective, and our best defense against the virus,” getting immunized “should remain voluntary and never forced.”

There have been increasing reports of people either being fired or quitting their jobs due to vaccine mandates. The Office of Financial Management in Washington state revealed last week that almost 1,900 state employees have lost their jobs or have volunteered to walk away due in relation to the vaccine mandate declared by Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., The Hill reported.

Meanwhile, the U.S. logged a total of more than 45,300,000 confirmed coronavirus cases as of Sunday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The data also revealed that a total of 190.6 million people have been fully vaccinated, while 220,351,217 people have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has come under fire for his handling of the public health response to COVID-19 Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has come under fire for his handling of the public health response to COVID-19. Photo: GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / JOE RAEDLE