Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is taking executive action to stop all localsemergency mandates immediately and issue an executive order declaring all local emergency mandates of COVID-19 in the state effective July 1.
DeSantis cited the widespread availability of vaccines in Sunshine State and said supply had now eclipsed demand. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20.9 million doses have been distributed in the country, and 15.5 million shots have been fired in a country with a population of about 21.5 million. DeSantis made the announcement when he signed a bill banning entities, including private businesses, from demanding the so-called “Vaccine Passports”
“What I will do is sign the bill, it will take effect on July 1,” DeSantis said during the signing of the bill on Monday in St. Petersburg. “I will also sign an enforcement order under this bill to invalidate all other local emergency COVID orders in force on July 1. But then, in order to bridge the gap between then and now, I will suspend, under my executive authority, local emergency orders as it relates to COVID. I think this needs to be done on evidence. “
DeSantis said his administration wants people to “enjoy” and “live freely in the state of Florida.”
DeSantis had already unilaterally banned even private businesses from requiring proof of vaccination. The Vaccine Passport Ban Act, which went into effect July 1, imposes a $ 5,000 fine each time a business or school requires proof of vaccination to enter.
DeSantis, a Republican and potential presidential candidate in 2024, is among the governors who are the fastest to reject COVID-19 security protocols.
But other, more liberal jurisdictions are also taking steps to limit COVID-19 restrictions. New York expects to return to full capacity by July 1. CDC Director Rochelle Valensky said he believes July 1 is a reasonable goal to essentially return to normal if vaccinations continue to increase at the rate they were and if cases continue to decline at the same rate.
More than 100 million Americans have already been fully vaccinated, the White House said last week.
Jack Reno contributed to the reporting.