DeSantis is suing Biden for COVID rule through federal contractors

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis listens to Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody during a press conference in Orlando on August 26, 2021.

AP

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody filed another lawsuit against the U.S. government on Thursday questioning the rule that federal contractors provide evidence of vaccinations or weekly COVID – Have to submit tests of their employees, and called this a “never serious assignment”. authorized by Congress. “

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in the Tampa Division, Florida, is one in a series of lawsuits against the federal government‘s COVID-19 protocols, specifically the vaccine mandates imposed by President Joe Biden. It is trying to stop the implementation of the December 8th deadline for state contractors.

“We will apply for an injunction so that this mandate cannot be imposed at the expense of the jobs of the Floridians,” DeSantis said at a press conference in Lakeland. “We have a very large presence of contract work companies for the federal government, including defense companies and many along the Florida space coast. “There are a lot of people in the crosshairs.”

The implementing regulation issued by Biden on September 9th said the intent is “to reduce the spread of COVID-19, which will reduce worker absenteeism, lower labor costs and improve the efficiency of contractors and subcontractors at locations where they do work for the federal government”.

On September 24, the White House Safer Federal Workforce Task Force released guidelines that set most federal entrepreneurship workers a December 8 deadline to get a weekly coronavirus vaccination or test negative. The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council followed on September 30 with a memo on the implementation of the mandate.

Another legal challenge is brewing?

DeSantis said he was also ready to challenge a rule Biden is seeking to oblige companies with 100 or more employees to offer either a vaccine or a weekly testing option to protect their workplaces from COVID-19. The rule is expected to be cleared by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration within the next week, but questions are rising as to whether it’s legal.

“It still hasn’t come out after all these weeks,” said DeSantis. “And I wonder if it didn’t come out because it has a lot of problems. I think there will be no clear way to do this. “

At the national level, however, the Business Roundtable, which is made up of corporate CEOs, said it supports Biden’s mandate because it affirms: Many companies already have guidelines in place.

DeSantis also said he should issue a proclamation on Thursday setting the dates for a special legislative session in November, he said last week that he wanted to impose additional penalties on companies that require vaccines or regular COVID-19 tests on their employees . The governor said he supported a ban on vaccine mandates, but he has withdrawn the request in Florida amid silent opposition in the business world.

“In Florida, we believe these things are decisions based on individual circumstances,” he said.

Moody, who has used her position to assist DeSantis in pursuing his opposition to mandates, said she was keeping a promise.

“We never dreamed that in this administration we would have to repeatedly push back illegal acts from Washington and incompetent, ruthless leadership from Washington,” she said at the press conference. “But we are here, and when we announced these vaccine mandates, we said we would take legal action and fight back, and I am proud to say we are delivering on that promise today.”

In September, Moody wrote a legal opinion stating that school districts must adhere to a state regulation that says parents must have the option of removing their children from wearing masks “if and until the judiciary invalidates them.”

Moody’s campaign on school mask requirements

Her legal opinion was presented the day after Leon County District Court Judge John C. Cooper ruled that DeSantis and its administration “acted without legal authority” in enacting and enforcing a blanket ban on masking mandates.

Cooper said the governor has passed. his authority when he made an executive order drawing his authority from portions of his parents’ Bill of Rights. The law was approved by the state’s Republican-dominated legislature and signed by the governor on June 29. Two days after his verdict, a three-person jury from the Conservative District Court of Appeals reinstated the governor’s ban on mask mandates.

Last week, the DeSantis government came under bipartisan fire over comments from its newly appointed Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, who declined a request to wear a mask when meeting a senator treated for cancer.

The incident prompted Republican Senate President Wilton Simpson to describe his behavior as “unprofessional” and said that anyone who does not act on Senatorial pleas in the future will be “urged to leave.”

In his first public comments on the incident on Tuesday, Ladapo said that he was unable to “communicate clearly” by wearing a mask. He didn’t offer an apology. Ladapo appeared on Fox News on Wednesday and said he was “under constant attack” and said Florida will “make data-driven decisions about Florida public health.”

He also said there was an “obsession with masking children at school” and called: the evidence “in support is very weak”.

“The highest quality evidence” shows, “There really is no evidence of any health benefit other than improving a child’s health outcomes by following these massive guidelines,” Ladapo told Fox presenter Tucker Carlson.

Contrary to the CDC

He failed to address the issue raised by public health officials that while students may have minor health effects from the coronavirus, they can be asymptomatic carriers who can unwittingly pass it on to the elderly at home and at school. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has published studies “highlighting the importance of using layered prevention strategies including universal masking to stop the spread and minimize disruption to school operations for safe personal education.”

In August, at the height of the surge in Florida coronavirus fueled by the highly contagious Delta variant, the CDC issued a recommendation that “everyone in areas with significant or high transmission should wear a mask in indoor public spaces, even”. when they are fully vaccinated. “

Six days ago, the CDC updated its guidelines on COVID-19 prevention in K-12 schools. This includes: “Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal internal masking for all students (from 2 years of age), staff, teachers and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of their vaccination status.”

Mary Ellen Klas can be reached at [email protected] and @MaryEllenKlas

This story was originally published October 28, 2021 11:44 a.m.

Mary Ellen Klas is the head of the State Capitol Bureau for the Miami Herald, where she covers government and politics, and focuses on investigative and accountability reporting. Mary Ellen Nieman was a Fellow at Harvard University from 2018-19 and was named a Murrey Marder Nieman Fellow in Watchdog Journalism in 2019. In 2018 she won the Sunshine Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. The Herald’s statehouse office is a joint operation with the Tampa Bay Times statehouse staff. Please support your work with a digital subscription. You can reach her at [email protected] and on Twitter @MaryEllenKlas.



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