On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) said that his administration would sue the Biden White House over the federal push for vaccine mandates, Politico reports.
The Biden Administration finally released a draft of its plans to use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to force all private companies with 100 employees or more to mandate vaccinations, or else face fines and other penalties, beginning in early 2022. Governor DeSantis said Florida will join a legal effort currently led by the states of Alabama and Georgia, as well as numerous private employers, seeking to challenge that mandate.
Independently of the larger legal effort, the DeSantis Administration will also file a lawsuit to block vaccine mandates for health care workers at facilities which are funded by Medicare and Medicaid. This restriction has led to numerous front-line workers, once hailed as heroes by Democrats, being fired from their jobs due to refusing to get the vaccine.
“I just think people are so sick of constantly being bossed around, restricted, mandated, all these different things,” DeSantis said in a press conference. “We have had enough of it and we want people to be able to make their own decisions.”
The lawsuit, which will be filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, will focus specifically on the fact that the mandates are going to be enacted via OSHA without having been approved by Congress first, and will thus claim that the Biden Administration has no legal right to enforce these new rules.
DeSantis has actively fought against vaccine mandates, as well as other coronavirus restrictions, as governor. Taking the opposite approach of Biden and many Democratic governors, DeSantis has refused to implement statewide restrictions of any kind, and has actively discouraged businesses and local authorities from implementing mask or vaccine mandates. In some cases, he has threatened fines and other penalties if they try to enforce such restrictions anyway.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R-Fla.) described Biden’s latest actions as “authoritarian,” and equated his increased push for such restrictions to a temper tantrum.
“When this president grew angry and lost his patience and said that unvaccinated Americans were killing others,” Moody said, “he decided to violate the restriction of his powers through our constitution and impose his will.”
The new federal rules, released by the Biden Administration on Thursday, will go into effect on January 4th, after the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holiday festivities and travel have ended. In a statement announcing the new measures, Biden falsely claimed that “vaccination is the single best pathway out of this pandemic.”
“While I would have much preferred that requirements not become necessary,” Biden continued, “too many people remain unvaccinated for us to get out of this pandemic for good.”