Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has threatened hefty fines if local governments force their employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, standing by his position that vaccines are “available for all, but mandatory for none,” according to a published report.
DeSantis said on Monday, the fine imposed will be a staggering $5,000 for each employee, CBS News reported.
The Republican governor warned that these mandates will result in “millions and millions of dollars potentially in fines,” the news outlet said.
In May, DeSantis signed the legislation, SB 2006 that bans businesses and local governments in the state from requiring people to prove their vaccination status and if they have recovered from COVID to use their services, NBC News reported.
SB 2006 does not prohibit governments from mandating COVID-19 vaccines, a report said.
DeSantis said on Monday that vaccination requirements for the city of Gainesville and Orange and Leon counties that workers must adhere to or risk getting fired “should alarm Floridians, and raises important questions.”
In the meantime, Gainesville has been sued by more than 200 employees who claim vaccine mandates violate state law. A city spokesperson told CBS Miami that the city retains the right to require such a mandate, CBS reported.
“We are going to stand for the men and women who are serving us. We are going to protect Florida jobs. We are not going to let people be fired because of a vaccine mandate,” DeSantis said. “You don’t just cast aside people who have been serving faithfully over this issue, over what’s basically a personal choice about their personal health.”
On Thursday, the state is preparing to begin enforcing the law, NBC reported.
The Centers for Disease Control has stated that “research has not yet shown how long you are protected from getting COVID-19 again after you recover from COVID-19,” CBS reported.
DeSantis held his position despite the numbers of COVID-19 cases spiking in his state.
As of Tuesday, Florida has 3,223,249 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 43,979 deaths. Over the past month, there have been 589,015 new cases and 4,900 new deaths, according to data from John Hopkins University.