DeSantis sues Biden over federal contractor vaccine mandate

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Thursday sued the Biden administration over its COVID-19 vaccine mandates for federal contractors, the latest in a series of GOP attacks on President Biden‘s pandemic response efforts.

The complaint, filed in federal district court in Tampa, calls the policy a “radical intrusion on the personal autonomy of American workers,” and seeks a preliminary nationwide injunction to block it from taking effect.

It names as defendants President Biden and a handful of federal agencies, including NASA, the General Services Administration and the Office of Management and Budget.

“It’s important for us to take a stand,” DeSantis said at a press conference. “Tossing people aside is just not something we can tolerate here in the state of Florida, so we are going to do everything we can.”

Deadline, but not a cliff: The policy is set to take effect Dec. 8. On Wednesday, White House coronavirus response coordinator Jeff Zients said the purpose of the mandates isn’t to punish people, and noted the deadlines for federal employees and contractors “are not cliffs.” He also indicated there will be levels of flexibility, and nobody will lose their jobs immediately: federal employers and contractors will be expected to educate, counsel and accommodate their unvaccinated workers to persuade them to receive the shot before terminating them.