The recent federal vaccine mandate is unconstitutional and is another example of President Joe Biden’s horrific leadership, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday.
“This is a guy who criticizes the state of Florida for protecting parents’ rights. He says school boards should be able to eliminate parents’ rights and force five-year-old kids to wear masks all day,” DeSantis said at a veterans’ appreciation event at Ponte Vedra Beach. “That’s what he thinks is appropriate government. Yet, here he comes from Washington, DC instituting an unprecedented mandate, which even his own people have acknowledged in the past is not constitutional. That’s not leadership.”
The Biden administration announced Thursday that it will force employers with more than 100 employees to mandate the COVID-19 test or require that employees receive weekly testing. The mandate comes after countless administrative officials — including White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Biden himself — promised the federal government wouldn’t mandate COVID-19 injections.
On Friday at a Washington, D.C. middle school, Biden said he was “disappointed” that “some Republican governors have been so cavalier with the health of [kids], so cavalier with the health of their communities.” Although Biden didn’t mention specific governors, DeSantis has been advocating against vaccine mandates for months.
“[Biden says] he’s losing patience with people. At the end of the day, we don’t live with a one-person rule in this country. We live in a constitutional system, which people’s rights are respected, but particularly in this juncture, their livelihoods and their jobs have to be protected,” DeSantis said. “Just think about what this mandate would do. It’s going to drive people out of work, out of hospitals, out of all this stuff where you have a need for people. So it’s totally counterproductive, and I think it will ultimately lose in court.”
DeSantis said the vaccine mandate would strip jobs and livelihoods from Americans and slammed Biden for a lack of responsibility for the already thousands of jobs lost by executive mandates.
“I think the problem I have with Joe Biden, more than anything, this guy doesn’t take responsibility for anything. He’s always trying to blame other people, blame other states,” DeSantis said. “This is a guy that promised when he ran for president, that he would shut down the virus. If you look now there’s 300 percent more cases in this country today than a year ago when we had no vaccines at all — so his policies are not working.”
Biden has been pushing vaccines since he entered office, and the administration said the new vaccine mandate is essential to keeping schools open and helping working Americans.
“We owe them a promise to keep their schools open as safe as possible,” First Lady Jill Biden said Friday. “We owe them a commitment to follow the science. We owe them unity so that we can fight the virus, not each other.”
The expansive mandate will require that more than 80 million Americans accept the vaccine, including millions of health facility workers, executive branch employees, and federal contractors. Members of Congress and their staff are exempted from the mandate. The three COVID-19 injections do not prevent individuals from catching or spreading the virus.
DeSantis said he would fight Thursday’s mandate.
“We have the responsibility to stand up for the Constitution,” he said, “People should not be cast aside because they make a medical decision for themselves. They should not lose their job. They should not be unable to put food on their table just because they made a different decision than the powers that be are demanding that they make.”