Gov. DeSantis looks to permanently ban masks and Covid vaccine requirements

DeSantis was at the Todd Herendeen Theater in Panama City Beach Tuesday with a new legislative...
DeSantis was at the Todd Herendeen Theater in Panama City Beach Tuesday with a new legislative effort.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 8:11 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - At an event called “Prescribing Freedom” in Panama City Beach on Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced new initiatives to block Covid related medical mandates.

DeSantis made the announcement at the Todd Herendeen Theater in Panama City Beach with a new legislative effort. Not only would it protect what he said are medical freedoms of choice and speech, but also permanently prohibit requiring Covid-19 vaccines, masks, and vaccine passports in Florida.

The Republican governor outlined new policies that would protect medical professionals’ freedom of speech by protecting their right to disagree with the preferred narrative of the medical community and protecting their religious views.

He also spoke about policies that would permanently prohibit employers from hiring or firing based on mRNA vaccines, and ban mask requirements in schools.

“Being able to live your life being able to breathe the fresh air is something that should basically be a civil right. You should not have to have any of these mask requirements imposed on you. Yes, Florida will not do it, of course from the state and we never did a mask mandate from the state. Some of the local governments didn’t we came in and kneecapped them,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis was accompanied by multiple people, including Congressman Neal Dunn, CFO Jimmy Petronis, and Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo.

Dr. Ladapo spoke strongly in support.

“Folks, this is the first time we’re using this technology widely in human beings. You’re telling people to put it in children and you’ve never shown children to gain from it in terms of health benefits. That is the land of crazy. Florida is the land of sanity,” Dr. Ladapo said.

DeSantis’ hope is to have these policies passed in the upcoming legislative session, which he said he has support in the legislature to make happen. The session starts in March.

The current Covid-19-related policies in Florida are set to expire on July 1st.