DeSantis to call special session of legislature to fight vaccine mandates

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Thursday that he is calling a special session of the state legislature to pass bills aimed at fighting COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

DeSantis has been in an escalating clash with the Biden administration over vaccine mandates.

Earlier this month he announced that he planned to sue over the requirements and he said at a press conference on Thursday that he also wants to enact protections for workers against employers’ vaccine mandates through legislation.

“In Florida, your right to earn a living is not contingent upon whatever choices you’re making in terms of these injections,” DeSantis said.

Among several ideas he floated: “If anyone has been forced to do an injection and has an adverse reaction, that business should be liable for that, any damages, you have to do it because that’s on them, it wasn’t an individual choice.”

Many health experts have praised COVID-19 vaccine mandates as a key step in getting more people vaccinated after voluntary efforts like incentives hit a ceiling, and have pointed to the track record of millions of shots given already to show the vaccines are very safe and effective.

“When the vaccines first came out, we worked very hard to provide it, particularly to our elderly, but we said from day one: we will make it available for all, but we will mandate it on none because ultimately we want individuals to make the determinations about what is right for them,” DeSantis said.

Big picture: Republicans across the country have fought back against vaccine mandates. In September, every GOP senator voted for an amendment to block Biden’s regulation on businesses.