Psaki looks past Florida’s low COVID-19 rate to attack DeSantis over Disney halting its vax mandate

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki looked past the fact that Florida now has one of the lowest COVID-19 rates in the nation, if not the lowest — the media suddenly lost interest in keeping the public up to date after feverishly reporting daily on the figure when it was at its peak — to take a potshot at popular Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Biden’s spokeswoman was asked Monday aboard Air Force One about what more the White House can do after last week’s stay in federal court of President Biden’s workplace vaccine mandate, in the face of companies like Disney doing away with their vaccine mandates for employees, according to Fox News. Psaki responded by attacking Florida’s Republican governor, claiming he was taking “steps backward” when it comes to battling the pandemic.

“They’re based in Florida, and obviously the governor there has consistently taken steps to take steps backwards as it relates to fighting the pandemic, not forward,” she sniped.

DeSantis, whose early push for monoclonal antibody treatments is now being emulated in other states, called for a special session of the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature, which is a part-time body, to address vaccine mandates and four bills were passed in furtherance of that directive.

“Your right to earn a living should not be contingent upon COVID shots,” the governor said at the time. “We have somehow gone from 15 days to slow the spread to 3 jabs to keep your job. In Florida, we believe that the decision whether or not to get a COVID shot is a choice based on individual circumstances, so we are litigating against the Biden Administration and will be passing legislation in this Special Session to protect Florida jobs and protect parents’ rights when it comes to masking and quarantines.”

“The health, education, and wellbeing of our children are primarily the responsibility of parents,” DeSantis continued. “As long as I am governor, parents in Florida will play a strong role in determining what their kids are learning and how they’re treated in school.”

The governor signed that legislation into law Thursday — in Brandon, Fla. — with his office saying the measures will protect Floridians from losing their jobs due to COVID-19 vaccine mandates and protect parents’ rights to make healthcare decisions for students.

“I told Floridians that we would protect their jobs and today we made that the law,” he said. “Nobody should lose their job due to heavy-handed COVID mandates and we had a responsibility to protect the livelihoods of the people of Florida. I’m thankful to the Florida Legislature for joining me in standing up for freedom.”

Two days later, Walt Disney World, which is located in Central Florida, announced that it was pausing its COVID-19 vaccine mandate in response to the new law.

“We believe that our approach to mandatory vaccines has been the right one as we’ve continued to focus on the safety and well-being of our cast members and guests, and at this point, more than 90% of active Florida-based cast members have already verified that they are fully vaccinated,” a Disney spokesperson said. “We will address legal developments as appropriate.”

In a further blow to Biden’s efforts to force COVID-19 vaccinations on Americans, after his mandate was stayed in federal court, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that it was abiding by the court order and would “take no steps to implement or enforce” the rule “until further court order,” according to Fox News.

The administration has essentially been ignoring the court order and advising businesses to continue require vaccinations.

“I would note that a recent poll showed that 60% of business leaders wanted to move forward on their own with vaccine requirement,” Psaki stressed. “We’ve seen them implemented, at a lot of companies, they’ve been effective, and overall, it gives a lot of businesses certainty about their workforce, makes people feel more confident in coming back to work.”


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