Politics

Biden admin says Florida is taking steps ‘backwards’ after Disney World ends vaccine mandate

Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is no longer requiring its vaccines to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The White House then accused the state’s governor, Ron DeSantis, of taking steps “backward” after he signed four bills into law requiring exemptions to be provided to employees for vaccine mandates.

On Monday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki commented about DeSantis after Disney released its decision to suspend their vaccine mandate for employees. “I think the Disney piece is important to differentiate because, as they’re based in Florida and, obviously, the governor there has consistently taken steps to take steps backward, as it relates to fighting the pandemic, not forward,” she said. “So that’s where they’re based.” 

Psaki continued, citing a poll that found “60 percent of business leaders wanted to move forward on their own with vaccine requirements.” She added, “We’ve seen them implemented, at a lot of companies, they’ve been effective, and overall it gives a lot of businesses certainty about their workforce, makes people feel more confident in coming back to work.”

On Thursday, DeSantis signed four new bills regarding vaccine mandates. HB 1B, one of the bills, allows private-sector employees in the state to opt out of a mandated COVID-19 vaccine if they show religious or medical reasons, or if they can prove immunity to the virus based on prior infection.

Exemptions can also be provided if employees are willing to be tested regularly or wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). DeSantis said at the bill signing ceremony, “The states are the primary vehicles to protect people’s freedoms, their health, their safety, their welfare, in our constitutional system.” 

A new rule introduced by the Biden administration requires businesses with 100 or more employees to implement a policy to force their workers to be vaccinated or be tested weekly. Businesses that are not compliant by January 4, 2022 might face fines of up to $14,000 per employee in violation.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit halted the policy on November 6 pending a review. “What [President Joe] Biden is doing is not constitutional. There has never been a federal vaccine mandate imposed on the general public,” DeSantis said.

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: HEAD TOPICS

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