In Florida, personal freedom has been a top priority of Governor Ron DeSantis, even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic and the surging of the delta variant.
DeSantis has taken the libertarian’s approach to COVID safety, essentially making each and every American the arbiter of their own caution. And, further, the Sunshine State governor has made it illegal for municipalities and businesses to install their own vaccine mandates – something that has already been defied.
Now, the Governor is making an example of one county who refused to listen.
The Florida Health Department fined Leon County on Tuesday for violating the state’s ban on vaccine mandates after the county fired 14 employees for not complying with its policy, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Tuesday.
“We must protect the jobs of Floridians and preserve the ability of Floridians to make their own decisions regarding what shots to take,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter.
But that’s not how Leon County saw it.
Leon County’s administrator, Vincent Long, said in a statement the county’s vaccine mandate “was not only completely legally justifiable, but it was a necessary and responsible action.”
He added that the county intends to “enforce its rights” using available remedies to settle the issue with its vaccine mandate and the state’s law against it.
The massive fine of $3.5 million is the first such action by the DeSantis administration, and could belie the seriousness of their anti-mandate stance.