The Republican governor said during a Jan. 13 press conference: "The medical mandate for the nurses and the doctors, what they're trying to do is actually insane. In other states, they have fired nurses for not having [the vaccine], even though most of them have natural immunity. So they fire them, but now they're short-handed. So what are they doing? They are bringing back on the job vaccinated nurses who are currently COVID-positive."
"If you're unvaccinated, naturally immune and uninfected – they fire you. But if you're COVID-positive and [vaccinated], which we know most of the people that are COVID-positive now are, they are going back on the job. It just shows you that the CMS [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] mandate is absolutely insane, especially given the ineffectiveness of these shots to actually stop transmission."
DeSantis referenced moves by health officials and hospitals in three states – California, Arizona and Rhode Island – to allow health workers with COVID-19 to return to work if they show either mild symptoms or none at all. The decision followed labor shortages largely caused by the termination of health workers who refused the COVID-19 vaccines. (Related: Nurse fired for not getting COVID-19 vaccine speaks about REAL situation in hospitals.)
Following the GOP governor's statement, the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to allow a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for health workers at CMS-funded facilities. Taryn Fenske, the spokeswoman for DeSantis, lamented the decision.
"We are disappointed about the CMS ruling and what it could mean for the livelihoods of doctors, nurses and health professionals in our state. As Florida's prohibition on vaccine mandates remains in effect for all industries, we will be evaluating next steps for enforcement in the coming days," she said.
Ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S., DeSantis has made a name for himself by eschewing medical tyranny in Florida. Instead of overarching lockdowns, he focused more on protecting the state's elderly residents. His strategy paid off – as Florida was spared massive losses of life, economy and society.
Writing for Blaze Media, attorney Daniel Horowitz lauded the Florida governor's pro-health freedom stance. He wrote in a May 2020 op-ed: "He had everything to lose and nothing to gain by standing for liberty, balance and prudence, the Constitution and long-standing epidemiological science in the third-largest state in the nation. It also happens to be the state with the most senior citizens at risk."
Horowitz pointed out that DeSantis received criticism for his refusal to lock down Florida at the soonest. The governor was also slammed for prematurely lifting the mandate on May 4, 2020. (Related: DeSantis terminates all local Covid-19 restrictions, including mask mandates, in Florida.)
"What are the results? Despite the fact that Florida is the haven for those most susceptible to the virus – the elderly – the state's numbers beat almost every comparable state. Daily fatalities also plunged after he ended the stay-at-home order. The data are so compelling that the media are trying to insinuate that DeSantis is cooking the books."
Horowitz also compared DeSantis to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who ordered COVID-19 patients to be sent to nursing homes – where they infected vulnerable elderly residents. "DeSantis quietly barred hospitals from sending COVID-positive patients to nursing homes, the exact opposite of what Cuomo and many Democratic governors did. He also used the [Florida] National Guard to secure nursing homes rather than to spy on people," the lawyer wrote.
"Consider that Cuomo is a hero to the media even after the nursing home scandal – while DeSantis is treated like dirt. Rather than violate people's rights and shut down the entire state, DeSantis used his head and struck the right balance," Horowitz concluded.
Watch the video below of DeSantis during his Jan. 13 press conference.
Pandemic.news has more stories about the struggles of health workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.