Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday he is opposed to the idea of hospitals requiring employees to take the coronavirus vaccine.
“It’s not something I support,” the Florida Republican said at a press conference at Tampa general hospital. “Here’s the problem that I think you’re going to run into. Hospitals are having a tough time retaining staff.”
Florida’s Jackson Healthcare System announced on Thursday that it will be requiring hospital staff to be vaccinated or be forced to abide by restrictions. Carlos Migoya, Jackson Health’s Chief Executive Officer, says that staff who don’t have at least one dose of the vaccine by August 23 must wear N95 masks at all times.
Earlier this week, California became the first state to mandate hospital workers take the vaccine and told employees of hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, clinics and other medical facilities that they have until September 30 to take their first dose.
DeSantis has been criticized by Democrats for not imposing strict coronavirus restrictions in his state and has publicly tussled with both President Biden and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki over face masks and the spread of the coronavirus.
Last month, Psaki accused DeSantis of putting kids “at risk” by not forcing them to wear masks in schools. This week, President Biden told DeSantis to “get out of the way” in order to let the federal government handle the coronavirus response.
DeSantis fired back, telling Biden that he is standing in the way in order to protect Florida residents.
“If you’re coming after the rights of parents in Florida? I’m standing in your way,” DeSantis said. “If you’re trying to deny kids a proper in-person education, I’m gonna stand in your way and stand up for the kids in Florida. If you’re trying to restrict people and impose mandates and ruin their jobs and livelihood, if you are trying to lock people down, I am standing in your way. I am standing for the people of Florida.”