Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday threatened local governments with $5,000 fines per violation for requiring their employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus that has overrun hospitals and killed tens of thousands across the state.
Local municipalities, such as Orange County and the city of Gainesville, potentially face millions of dollars in cumulative fines for implementing a requirement that their employees get a COVID-19 vaccine, the Republican governor said.
“We are not going to let people be fired because of a vaccine mandate,” DeSantis said at a news conference outside Gainesville. “You don’t just cast aside people who have been serving faithfully over this issue, over what is basically a personal choice on their individual health.”
Florida has been a national epicenter for the virus’s spread this summer, with COVID-19 deaths in Florida accounting for more than 20% of the virus-related deaths across the country last week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.