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BRANDON, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign a package of anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate bills into law Thursday in Brandon, Florida – a thinly vailed jab at President Biden.
In a rebuke to the White House, the legislative package will prevent workers from being required to get vaccinated. Employers will be required to allow exemptions including, but not limited to health or religious concerns; pregnancy or anticipated future pregnancy; and past recovery from COVID-19.
The phrase “Let’s go, Brandon” exploded after an NBC reporter mistakenly used the phrase to describe a NASCAR crowd that was chanting “F— Joe Biden.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)
Earlier in November, DeSantis dubbed the Biden administration the “Brandon administration” during a press conference in Palm Beach.
“The significance of signing this legislation in Brandon, Florida, is not lost on the governor,” DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw said.
President Joe Biden shields his eyes from the sun as he walks toward Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
The signing comes after DeSantis called a special legislative session on vaccine mandates. Democrats called the three-day session political theater.
“Ron DeSantis and the republican leadership just wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on this special session,” Florida state Rep. Angie Nixon, a Democrat, tweeted Wednesday. “We didn’t even attempt to address this housing crisis affecting many in our state. We’re here just to kick off the governor’s campaign.”
Florida’s “Old State Capitol” in Tallahassee. (Robert Sherman, Fox News)
The first-term governor claimed victory, tweeting: “I look forward to signing legislation that will protect their jobs and the jobs of all Floridians who are facing unjust termination due to heavy-handed mandates!”
The Biden administration finalized a mandate earlier in November requiring workers in businesses with 100 or more employees to either get vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. The federal agency that issued the rule suspended enforcement following a court order.
Houston Keene contributed to this report.