Nov 18, 2021
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Press Conference Transcript November 18: Bans Vaccine Mandates
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference on November 19, 2021 and signed legislation banning vaccine mandates. Read the transcript of the full briefing here.
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Governor DeSantis: (00:00)
Well, we’re really excited to be here, especially because when I sign this legislation today, we hear so much about all these things. Mandates, restrictions, tearing people down. Today, we lift people up.
Governor DeSantis: (00:22)
We provide protections for people. No nurse, no firefighter, no police officer, no trucker, no anybody should lose their job because of these COVID jabs. And that’s what we’re doing. We’re making sure that people have a right to earn a living, people have a right to have protections in their place of employment. And that parents have protections to be able to direct the upbringing of their kids. And if you look at what we’re doing today, Florida is leading. This is the strongest piece of legislation that’s been enacted anywhere in the country, in this regard. And we’re awfully proud to be able to do it here today at Brandon Honda.
Governor DeSantis: (01:05)
I want to thank the Florida legislature. We’ve got a number of legislators here. So I want to thank all of them. Speaker Chris Sprawls and Senate President Wilton Simpson. We also have some Senator Burgess and representatives, Missoula, Brawl, and I think I saw Jackie Toledo. I saw Representative Zika and Lawrence McClure. And I think is Beltran here? I don’t know if I saw him. So thank you guys. People were saying, I mean, Montana had done something. Tennessee had done something and people were saying that this was not something that was going to end up happening. And they understood what was going on. I made the call to say, we got to do this now. Because people are actually losing their jobs right now if we don’t do these protections. So we needed to do that and they stepped up and I think it’s something that’s going to make a big, big difference for an awful lot of people.
Governor DeSantis: (02:05)
We are respecting people’s individual freedom in this state. And that is something that’s very, very important. And ultimately, I don’t know how it ever came to this point, but at the end of the day, even Fauci, all these people would always say no mandate, no mandate. And then now, they’re saying you shouldn’t be able to even work if you don’t do that. Some people say kids shouldn’t even be able to go to school. And this has gotten so, so far out of whack. And so, Florida from the very beginning, when they were bugging us when all they wanted to do was lock down. We were opening the state, keeping the state open, keeping businesses open.
Governor DeSantis: (02:55)
When they would criticize us because we actually wanted to have our kids in school in person. And they said, you can’t have kids in school. And we did it. And we led on that and we’ve led on a number of things. Most recently we led on providing early treatment options for people with monoclonal antibody. It was a huge success. And they don’t want to tell you this, but Florida for like almost a month has been either the lowest or one of the lowest COVID in the entire country. Just a fact. You see it surging in other parts, the corporate media, they don’t like it when it surges in other parts. They only like it when it surges in places that they don’t don’t like. And so I don’t know if they’re even going to cover that, but I see it happening. And it was something that was obviously predictable.
Governor DeSantis: (03:45)
And honestly, if they would do a halfway decent job of actually telling people there were these treatments, we’d probably be able to save a lot more people in other parts of the country. So we’re proud of leading. We’re proud of standing up for people’s rights. What we’re doing here in the legislation, I mean, I’ve been dealing with the firefighters, police, all that, that is totally off the table for anything to be done with any of those first responders or anything. So I thought that was really important. I mean, they have these folks working the whole time and they’re out doing all the stuff that a lot of other people didn’t want to do. Many of them have already had COVID in the process. And now they’re being told that they may have to have their walking papers.
Governor DeSantis: (04:33)
So that’s just fundamentally wrong and we will be able to do it. We recognize unlike what you see going on with some of the federal proposed mandates, other states, is we’re actually doing a science based approach. For example, we recognize people that have natural immunity. You have natural immunity, whatever a private employer wants to do, you’re automatically exempt because of natural immunity. And I think that that’s very, very important. It’s also important to just look at people say you need to mandate, right? They’re justifying these mandates, but we know. And the data is very clear at this point. COVID vaccines are not preventing infections. Okay? It’s just not. [inaudible 00:05:22] is the most vaccinated country. I don’t know if they just locked down their Christmas celebrations, they’re not doing it. Ireland has 90 plus percent adults vaccinated. They’re reimposing restrictions because you’re seeing surges.
Governor DeSantis: (05:35)
And so look, that’s just that the data tells us. So to say it should be mandated when you can still get at it. This is a personal choice. And so that’s what we’re doing. And that’s the science based approach to say that this should be a personal choice. The other issue is, I said a week or two ago, I said, OSHA’s putting out this rule. They’re going to say that whatever you need to do, but they’re going to move the goal post. And they’re going to say, if you don’t have a booster by a certain date, then you’re unvaccinated. You could lose your job. People tried to say, oh, that’s not what they said. Well now, even Fauci is saying he wants the boosters to count. New Mexico said, unless you do the boosters, they’re going to consider you unvaccinated. So we reject that approach.
Governor DeSantis: (06:20)
That would upend a lot of people’s jobs. I can tell you that right now. And so, we are happy to be able to do that. And I look about Ashley Moody, Attorney General’s going to speak in a minute. The state of Florida, we have filed a lawsuit. So we’re already challenging the OSHA lawsuit. That’s now been consolidated in the sixth circuit court of appeals. And look, there’s a lot of different things that happen legally on these things. But I can tell you this, the ultimate result of that OSHA lawsuit in the sixth circuit is that thing is going to crash and burn. It’s going. That’s for sure. I’ll be willing to put a lot of money on that. So we have that, but we’re also Florida, we’re challenging the mandate on federal contractors. You’re going to have a lot of people lose their jobs as federal contractors in January.
Governor DeSantis: (07:12)
So we have that, that we’re doing, and that’s in Tampa in federal district court. And we think that we’re going to be successful there. What the State of Florida has done under Attorney General Moody’s leadership is also file suit in Pensacola, challenging HHS’s nurse and doctor mandate for hospitals. What they’re saying is you have to force every nurse and everybody to do COVID jabs or you lose Medicare, Medicaid, all the funding. And obviously they wouldn’t be able to work if that were the case and the institutions would collapse. And so we think that that’s illegal. We think it’s unconstitutional, but here’s what really bugs me about this one. When you talk about nurses and stuff, the whole reason they launch 15 days to slow the spread. The whole reason the US went down the road, that a lot of other places they’re still trying to pull out of is because they didn’t want the hospitals to be overrun.
Governor DeSantis: (08:10)
That was the reason they did it. And so, you had to make sure you preserve hospital capacity. So that’s what they said then. Now they’re going to do this mandate. And some nurses, many nurses could lose their job. So you’re actually making the hospitals short staffed as a result of the mandate. So how does this make any sense when you say you’re trying to preserve? This is about power. This is about control. That’s what they’re doing because it makes absolutely no sense to be able to do this when you’re talking about what would actually make sense for people. And so, we’re very happy to be able to say that we are fighting that as well. And I said, from the very beginning of this, you needed a legal response, but you also needed a legislative response. So today, we sign into law the legislative response and the legal response is ongoing and we’re going to continue to do that.
Governor DeSantis: (09:02)
So I really want to thank everyone for being a part of this. I didn’t think we had any time to waste. I mean, at the end of the day, we’re going to have a regular legislative session starting in the middle of January, but I was looking at all these deadlines, you could have thousands and thousands of people lose their jobs by then. So I thought we needed to come in, in special session. They were able to do it. The last thing I wanted to see was see all these families in Florida over the holidays, not knowing whether they were going to have a job when they came out on the other end of the holidays when we had the new year. So now we have protections. I think it’s something that’s going to be very, very good. And I think it’s going to make a big difference for everybody involved. So thanks to everybody who spoke out, thanks to the legislature. We’re going to hear from a few folks and then I’m going to sign the bills into law. So we have with us actually from right around the corner here, our Attorney General Ashley Moody.
Ashley Moody: (10:11)
So an incredible personal honor to be here today in my home county, right here in Brandon, Florida. Governor DeSantis, because of your leadership, the leadership of our legislature, President Simpson, Speaker Sprouts, Brandon, Florida has become the shining city on the hill.Representing freedom. Let me just say, as the attorney general, I am so honored to work alongside this great governor who throughout this pandemic, when wanting to protect our citizens and the sovereignty of this state always did so with a lens of how we can also protect the freedom and autonomy of our citizens. So important.
Ashley Moody: (11:03)
The freedom and autonomy of our citizens, so important. And as this administration, we have seen time and time again, make ill-informed, misguided, senseless policy decisions, and then force those policy decisions on Americans, in this instance, the majority of the American workforce. We have pushed back. When President Biden said, “I know it’s unlawful. I’m sure I’ll be challenged in court, bring it on.” We brought it and we’ll continue to do so.
Ashley Moody: (11:34)
I am so pleased that Florida and other States that have challenged the OSHA Rule have seen success. We have gotten a say in that, and today we announced that Florida has filed a lawsuit against the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare, which has required all Florida healthcare professionals to be mandated, regardless of, even if you are tending to patients.
Ashley Moody: (11:58)
We know in our rural Counties, in Florida we are seeing devastating losses of healthcare professionals already. This will decimate our ability to provide needed, crucial, vital healthcare to Floridians. And so, I am proud to, again, stand with our great Florida leaders like Governor DeSantis, and take formal legal act action to protect Florida workers.
Ashley Moody: (12:25)
But I also personally would demand that this President and his administration look at the data, make decisions that are based on the welfare and individual circumstances, and freedom of our citizens, and not on some radical extremist, liberal agenda that they keep imposing on the American people. Thank you so much Governor DeSantis for your leadership.
Governor DeSantis: (12:52)
Okay. We have the Surgeon General of the State of Florida, Dr. Joe Ladapo.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo: (13:06)
Hey. Hey guys. Hello, hey, hey guys. So I’d like for people to really take in how important, what the Florida lawmakers under the leadership of Governor DeSantis have done. It’s incredibly important. We’ve had period of time over the past year-and-a-half where we’ve had medical hegemony, right? We’ve had the medical field impose on people’s ability to educate their children, to work and choose the conditions under which they work, to even open their businesses or even to move around their communities. That’s not normal, and unfortunately, we’ve had leadership that’s tried to normalize that.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo: (13:50)
So the stand that Governor DeSantis has taken and has been supported fully by Senator Wilson and… Pardon me, Senator Simpson and Representatives Sprowls, it’s so important. It also serves as an example to other States in the country because a lot of people are struggling with this in terms of finding the balance here between trying to provide some protection against this health threat, but also keep life going and keep the things that are important to life, that make life meaningful going. So I want people to recognize how important this is. The other thing that’s worth noting, that’s related to that, that I love about this legislation is that it completely pushes back against this belief that some of our leadership has been trying to put forward, that you don’t control your body. That your body belongs to Dr. Fauci, right? And he gets to decide what you do with your body, what you put on your face, what your kids get to do. And this is part of what’s been attempted to be normalized over the past year-and-a-half.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo: (15:08)
It’s completely wrong. It is spiritual warfare. It’s completely wrong, and another wonderful thing about this legislation is that it stands against that. You control your body. It doesn’t matter how many times they try and tell you that you don’t get to make that decision. It is your body. God gave it to you, it’s your body.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo: (15:32)
And then the last thing I’ll say is that the other really wonderful thing about this legislation is that it brings us back to the data. So this campaign, this relentless campaign to keep children in this country in masks, and now potentially with a mandate for a vaccine that has not been shown to improve any child’s health, by the way. Same thing for the mask. There’s no evidence that they actually improve the health of children.
Dr. Joseph Ladapo: (16:01)
So we’re back to the data. It’s now law in Florida and it’s, again, another example of something that other States can look at. There is no data that shows an improvement of health with these mask mandates for children, zip, there’s nothing, and it should stop. It’s completely divisive, it doesn’t help kids. It should end. So, all right. Okay, thanks guys.
Governor DeSantis: (16:28)
Okay. We have Senate President Wilton Simpson.
Wilton Simpson: (16:31)
Thank you. And I just want to thank the Governor. From the very beginning, I served on one of the reopening committees, the Governor of us decided that very quickly that we were not going to lock Florida down. We wanted to give people opportunities, and knowing that from a lockdown state, all the problems that would’ve happened, right? The additional mental health problems we would’ve had, the domestic violence we would’ve had, the child abuse that would’ve went on.We knew that locking down was not an issue in the State of Florida. Freedom was going to ring.
Wilton Simpson: (17:07)
But then let’s tell a story about how we got to where we are today. If you go back to April and May, and June 2020, we were in a situation where our healthcare and frontline providers were putting their lives on the line every day, prior to there being a vaccine, prior to there being monoclonal antibodies, prior to there being the antivirals that we have today.
Wilton Simpson: (17:31)
All of that was happening, and we really cherish that. We call them heroes. They are heroes, and guess what? Six months later, seven months later, because of President Trump’s work through Operation Warp Speed, we had a vaccine for the first time. Within a month or so of that, we had monoclonal antibodies. We had the opportunity for options with the same similar efficacies. And today, we have antivirals.
Wilton Simpson: (17:55)
So now, that same nursing force that took us from April 2020, till November of now ’21, now we’re saying thank you, but we don’t respect your private individual rights any longer. “Thank you for getting us through the tragedy. Thank you for putting your families at risk, but now we’re going to put your family at risk.”
Wilton Simpson: (18:17)
And we are not going to do that in the State of Florida. We are not going to do those unconstitutional mandates that are coming down from the Federal government. We have an Attorney General that’s not going to stand for it. We have a legislature that’s not going to stand for it. And we have a Governor that’s been leading us through this the whole time. So Governor, thank you for your leadership and thank you for being here.
Governor DeSantis: (18:37)
Okay. We have the Speaker of the House, Chris Sprowls.
Chris Sprowls: (18:49)
Thank you everybody. Who’s ready to see the Governor sign the Florida Freedom Agenda? Who’s ready for that? We have the boldest Governor in America, who’s not only kept us open during the pandemic, who got our kids back into school, but today, we’ll send a clear message to the Biden administration and the Federal government that Florida stands for freedom.
Chris Sprowls: (19:13)
We are blessed to have Governor DeSantis. We are blessed to have the most aggressive Attorney General in America, who is fighting in court against the Biden administration to protect the livelihoods of not just Floridians, but for people across the country. Thank you, Ashley.
Chris Sprowls: (19:28)
And we have legislators behind me, the boldest and most conservative legislature in America, in the Florida legislature, who has put on the Governor’s desk the most aggressive bill in the country to protect people’s jobs, to protect people’s jobs from illegal mandates and unconstitutional mandates, to protect employers from the heavy hand of government, and to protect our individual freedoms to govern ourselves as we see fit as Floridians.
Chris Sprowls: (19:50)
I want to thank a couple legislators in particular. Representative Erin Grall and Representative Massullo, who carried the big bill, dealing with our Freedom Agenda are here today. Representative Zika, whose bill calls for us to pull out of OSHA all together and to say, “We don’t want their regulation anymore.” And Representative Andrade, who took an antiquated piece of statue and took off the books, dealing with allowing government to do forced vaccinations. That will no longer be in Florida law anymore after today.
Chris Sprowls: (20:21)
And the reality is, if you would’ve asked me six months ago, if I would’ve thought that was necessary, like the Governor and others, I would’ve said, “No, of course not.” Nobody would do something like that. Nobody would want to force people to do something they don’t want to do, especially after all of these heroes, the police officers, the firefighters, the nurses, the people who took care of our grandparents in nursing homes.
Chris Sprowls: (20:46)
All of those people, nobody would force them to do that, but then it happened, but then it happened. And then the Governor and the legislature and the Attorney General went into action. And I want to talk about her lawsuit just a little bit today because some people who might not be in the healthcare industry don’t know how important it really is. If we don’t win that lawsuit, if our law isn’t followed here in the State of Florida, there will be nurses who will leave, and not an insignificant number. If 5% of nurses or healthcare, or clinical staff walk off the job, which is a real estimate, we will have a significant healthcare issue in our State.
Chris Sprowls: (21:18)
I spoke to nursing homes this morning who estimate that between 5% and 10% of their workforce will leave, will leave. These are people who take care of our parents. They take care of our loved ones. They take care of our grandparents. We need them on the job, making sure that they’re taken care of.
Chris Sprowls: (21:39)
General, we stand with you. We’ve included of course, money in the budget to make sure that you have everything you need to do the job necessary to protect those people. But what the Biden administration has done is wrong, is wrong. Regardless of how you feel about what we’re going to do today on this bill, we should care if nurses walk off the job. We should care about our firefighters. We should care about our police officers. We should care about our nurses, and today, the Florida Freedom Agenda signed by Governor DeSantis…
Chris Sprowls: (22:03)
On our nurses and today the Florida Freedom Agenda signed by Governor DeSantis will protect that. I thank you governor. I want to thank my good friend Senate President Wilton Simpson. Without him and his leadership in the Florida Senate, the House and Senate wouldn’t have got together as quickly and as efficiently as we did this week. Thank you Mr. President. Thank you, governor. Appreciate it.
Chris Sprowls: (22:17)
Okay, now we have some other folks that are going to come up and talk about their situations. Maria Bernard, where are you?
Ashley Moody: (22:34)
Good afternoon, Governor DeSantis. Thank you for this opportunity. I appreciate it. Just three months ago, I was facing termination from the job I’ve held for 17 years. 599 Orange County fire rescue employees did not comply with the vaccine mandate before the initial deadline. A few days later, the mayor claimed it was never his intent to terminate anyone, but he would have us continue to stay masked while on duty, be subject to weekly testing and receive disciplinary action for not complying to his terms.
Ashley Moody: (23:03)
Only the unvaccinated were tested and the non-compliant received their discipline. A few weeks later, Orange County’s local state of emergency is lifted and the testing stopped. Then just this week, employees were advised they no longer are required to wear a mask while on Orange County property. My point being, what are these mandates truly about? A few months ago, county employees were deemed to be a threat to the workplace and the community and now we can all resume as normal. The bills that the governor will sign today mark a great accomplishment in preserving our freedom. My hope is this will set a precedent that will help all states and all employees, regardless if they are in the private or the public sector. Not one person in this world should be forced to make a decision that strips them of their God-given freedoms or their livelihood. The right to work is the right to live. I’m hopeful as others follow the governor’s lead the division across this nation will dissipate and we will no longer concern ourselves of another person’s medical status or the medical decisions that they make for themselves. Thank you, governor and all those involved who took time to listen to the words of firefighters, healthcare workers, and hardworking Floridians across the state. You refused to make this battle about politics and you stood up for what is right.
Ashley Moody: (24:19)
When few would listen to the unlawful abuse of power that employers were mandating on their hard working employees, you listened along with others who stood up and acted to pass legislation to protect our freedoms. Myself and countless other employees are grateful we can start to focus on our lives again and hope we never revisit this situation. Thank you for allowing us to continue doing what we are highly trained to do and love. And that is working and serving our community and providing for our families. Thank you for helping us hold the red line against those who threatened our freedom of choice.
Governor DeSantis: (24:54)
Some of these people like make it… Obviously we’ve never mandated masks from the state of Florida and obviously wouldn’t do that. I mean, it’s a personal decision, but it’s like, I’ll go into some of these places in Florida, and fortunately, a lot of places are doing very well. I’ll be in a big resort ballroom, there’ll be 1500 people all having fun, nobody wearing masks and then they make the staff wear these masks the whole time. And I’m thinking to myself, that’s not treating those people well.
Governor DeSantis: (25:26)
I look around other places where they make the staff wear masks when nobody else is doing it. Now tell me how it makes sense. You have 1500 people sitting there having a good time, eating, drinking, dancing, having 12 servers with masks, is that really making a difference? And so I just think we need to say, look, this is not mandate. These are what these businesses are doing, but have I think some compassion for their comfort level. And if this is just for theater, that is not the appropriate thing to do to these employees and they should be able to breathe. All right, we have next speaker, Dr. Jeffrey Beard.
Dr. Jeffrey Beard: (26:13)
Good morning. First of all, I’d like to thank Governor DeSantis, Speaker Sprouse, Senate President Simpson and my own state representatives, Alex Andrade and Jerry Williamson. My name is Jeff Beard. I am a husband, father of 11, and I’m an emergency medicine physician. Until this past Saturday I was the director of one of the few pediatric ERs in the panhandle of Florida.
Dr. Jeffrey Beard: (26:38)
Effective 7:00 AM last Saturday, after 12 years of service in my same hospital, I was suspended from my job due to my inability to comply with the health system’s corporate mandate. My exemptions were denied despite my sincerely held religious convictions. Like many others, I worked through the entire pandemic having had and recovered from COVID and I continue to maintain positive antibody titers. This confirms my natural immunity to the virus.
Dr. Jeffrey Beard: (27:08)
This week, the state of Florida was at a critical point in its history. I want to thank Governor DeSantis, the Florida House, the Florida Senate for their work and this special session to ensure rural religious and medical freedom for all Floridians, protecting jobs and the rights of thousands of tireless, medical providers, employers, employees, and students. Governor, I want to get back to the job that I love to do. Thank you, sir.
Governor DeSantis: (27:44)
Yeah. Thank you. Okay. From the nursing profession, Kate Johnson.
Kate Johnson: (27:55)
Hi. How are you all? So this-
Governor DeSantis: (28:03)
Little louder, yes there you go.
Kate Johnson: (28:05)
This conversation was never really about if you were anti-vaccine. It’s about being pro freedom and anti-mandate. I am a nurse. I am a wife. I am a mother. I have a one year old running around somewhere and I’m expecting my second. But nursing for me is more than just a job. It’s how I’ve provided for my family for the last 10 years. But more than that it’s a calling and to have bureaucrats sit in an office somewhere and decide that they can strip me of my calling in life because of an inability to comply with their whims and wishes is unconstitutional. It’s unjust and it is wrong. And I am very proud that I was able to stand with Governor DeSantis when he initiated this process and I’m even more proud to stand with him today as he signs this bill into law. It means so, so much that we have people who are willing to stand up and fight with us. Fight for us. We have voice for the voiceless. Thank you very much.
Governor DeSantis: (29:17)
Okay. And last, saving the best for last, we have Fiona Lashells. Where is she? You going to get up here? Okay. If you need, just grab my shoulder to speak into that. Is that okay? All right, tell your story. Tell them who you are and why you’re here.
Fiona Lashells: (29:44)
Hi, I am Fiona Lashells.
Governor DeSantis: (29:46)
Tell then what grade you’re in.
Fiona Lashells: (29:49)
And I’m in second grade.
Governor DeSantis: (29:52)
And why did you, when you and I met, what did you tell me about going to school?
Speaker 1: (30:05)
Why weren’t you going?
Fiona Lashells: (30:06)
I wasn’t going to school because I was getting suspended for not wearing a mask.
We love you. We love you girl.
Governor DeSantis: (30:18)
So now tell them about the mask and what you didn’t like about it.
Fiona Lashells: (30:20)
I didn’t like the masks because you have germs on your hands and then you touch it and you put it on your face and you breathe in all those germs.
Governor DeSantis: (30:30)
Now since you’ve started telling your story, they haven’t made you wear a mask lately, right?
Fiona Lashells: (30:39)
Governor DeSantis: (30:39)
And now does that make you happy?
Fiona Lashells: (30:42)
Governor DeSantis: (30:42)
Yeah? Do your classmates like not having to do it too?
Fiona Lashells: (30:47)
Governor DeSantis: (30:48)
Okay, well so she got things done. I mean, I’ll tell you what. All right. Do you want me to help you down?
Baby girl, you’re smarter than half the country.
Governor DeSantis: (31:05)
Okay. So we are going to do the… Make it official here. I don’t know which one is which so hopefully we make some sense into it. You got to stand here because I’m going to use you. Okay. All right. So this one is the… There was an old provision of law from like 20 years ago that said the surgeon general can forcibly vaccinate people. Some people thought that we had done that when we banned the vaccine passports, that’s not true at all. But nevertheless, we saw it. We’re like, why would that be in there? And so this bill basically takes that off the books. I think they put it in there after 9/11 and anthrax scares or whatever. But at the end of the day, it’s not appropriate in the state of Florida. So we’re taking that off.
Take it off. We want it all back.
Governor DeSantis: (32:10)
Okay. Who wants this one? Who did this bill? Okay. Is he here? Okay, well who wants one?
Governor DeSantis: (32:26)
So that’s one. Important for sure but Joe Ladapo was not going to forcibly stick anybody. So don’t worry. All right. Here’s the OSHA plan. We’re going to do that. You know, OSHA, you read this it’s 500 pages and they actually explicitly reject community through prior infection, even though we have all this evidence. And so you wonder if that’s how they’re doing that, what else may they be doing based off junk science or ideology? And it was not a very impressive display from OSHA.
Follow the money. Yeah, follow…
Governor DeSantis: (33:03)
Not a very impressive display from OSHA. All right. So we got that one. So those are that.
Thank you, Chris.
Governor DeSantis: (33:11)
All right. Who wants these?
Thank you, Chris. Thank you, Anthony Sabotini.
Governor DeSantis: (33:20)
All right. So here is the big enchilada against the mandates. All right, here we go. So that’s the big one. So, this is [inaudible 00:33:49]. You can have one of those. We got one more. We got one more. All right, so that’s done too. Anyone else? Two more. Okay, so we’ve got [inaudible 00:33:54].
Thanks for being a real leader. Yes. Thank you for everything.
Governor DeSantis: (34:45)
I actually dated it, but I didn’t sign it. It’s because I started, I started [inaudible 00:34:53]. Thank you. All right. Right here. There you go. [inaudible 00:34:58].
Governor DeSantis: (34:57)
So thanks. We were at the airport in, was it Tampa or the Clearwater airport when we did the initial one? Was it Clear … It was a Clearwater Airport. And we had a lot of great, we had some of the firefighters with us. We had people from the airlines, everything. And this was just after they had announced they published the OSHA, they were going to do it. And we said that there’re times you need to stand up and you need to make your voice heard and we had the ability to do it.
Governor DeSantis: (35:38)
So from the time we did that, yeah, that was just a few weeks ago to be able to get these bills, get it through the legislature and now sign it into law. This stuff doesn’t just happen overnight. That’s a very, very quick response. So I’m proud that we were able to do that. And at the end of the day, nobody in Florida should be losing their job over these jabs. We want people to be able to work. We want people to be able to provide for their families. We want people to be able to have livelihoods. And that’s just the way it’s going to be in this state and we’re going to stand by all these folks and we’re going to make sure that they have the ability to make the best decisions for themselves.
Governor DeSantis: (36:13)
So, great job. Thank you. And we can take a couple questions.
Speaker 2: (36:18)
Governor, it’s obvious to a lot of the people in the crowd that they believe you chose Brandon because of the thing that goes around on certain websites. Is this why you came to Brandon because of the trolling of the Biden Administration?
Governor DeSantis: (36:31)
So I think that Brandon, Florida is a great American city and that the people here are fantastic. And I can tell you, my only negative on Brandon was when I was growing up playing baseball, they always used to beat us every year. But now I think as governor, I’m really proud to be able to do.
Governor DeSantis: (36:58)
I want to thank Brandon Honda for hosting us here today. And we’re proud to be able to make a stand for freedom in Brandon, Florida,
Speaker 3: (37:08)
Biden Administration’s policies, you put these into law. You believe these are bad Floridians. But cities like Tampa and St. Pete have tried to make policies that you’ve made that they think are bad for them. Why is it okay for you to violate the conservative tenant of whole rule, but it’s bad when the Biden Administration …
Governor DeSantis: (37:26)
So first of all, this idea that somehow conservatism is about like local school boards. It’s the United States of America, not the United school boards or county commissions of America. So the states are the primary vehicles to protect people’s freedoms, their health, their safety, their welfare in our constitutional system. What Biden is doing is not constitutional. There has never been a federal vaccine mandate imposed on the general public. I hear people talk about they do things in the military. Yeah. When I was in the military, they used to give me all kind of stuff.
Governor DeSantis: (38:08)
Honestly, I wish I would’ve thought, but I mean, whatever it was, but that’s much different than regulating the military and then imposing it on civilians in society. It’s never been done before. They don’t have the power to do it. There’s no federal police power. States have the police power. So that’s from a constitutional perspective, it is worlds, worlds apart. Now, some people say, “Hey, these local governments wanted to lock down businesses. They wanted to force mandates. They wanted to keep the kids locked out of school.”
Governor DeSantis: (38:39)
Yeah, you’re damn right I overruled them on that because they were wrong. And the fact of the matter is the fact of the matter is you don’t have the right to do wrong. And if I had not stepped in last year and made sure that these local governments couldn’t lock you down, couldn’t mandate, we wouldn’t let them fine. We had kids in school last year because of me not because of them. And that’s just the bottom line. And so people can say, “Is it the job of somebody that’s elected to look out for the liberties of everyone in the state?”
Governor DeSantis: (39:19)
Or do you just say, “Hey, if someone’s violating your freedom, we shouldn’t do anything.” The fact of the matter is if we would’ve let them lock the kids out of school last year, we would’ve paid the piper on that for years and years in this state. If we had let them lock down businesses and restrict and do all that, we would have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. So we had to stand out for people’s liberties, their livelihoods, their right to work, people’s right to own a business, and it was the right thing to do.
Governor DeSantis: (39:46)
But what Biden is doing, he does not have … He even admitted he doesn’t have the authority to do it. Psaki admitted that they don’t have the authority to do it. And in fact, even six or months ago, they were all saying, of course you never mandate. Of course, you never mandate. And so the question is, do we actually have a constitution that constrains people like Biden or is it just when he loses patience, he can do whatever the hell he wants to? No. I’ll take the constitution. Thank you very much.
Speaker 4: (40:21)
What is your argument to those who who may have objected to this particular special session saying that it was possibly a waste of taxpayer’s money? What is your answer to those who object to that?
Governor DeSantis: (40:27)
So there are deadlines taking effect very soon, where people were going to lose their jobs. If we had waited until the regular session, we would had thousands and thousands of Floridians lose their jobs over heavy handed mandates. And so to me, if you think saving people’s jobs is a waste of taxpayer money, heck that’s like page three of the governor’s manual to save people’s jobs. I mean, so what we did was the right thing to do. I wish there were no impending deadlines. I wish that no one was in danger.
Governor DeSantis: (40:58)
Then yeah, we would’ve waited until the regular session. But the fact is we had people, and here’s the thing. I travel the state a lot. I talk to people and these are people, they don’t even know I’m showing at a place, they’ll come up. And I can tell you for the last month and a half, the number one issue that I had people come up to me and they’re very quiet about it, almost apologetic, because it doesn’t at the narrative to be concerned about these mandates and the way it is and a lot of the folks aren’t viewed sympathetically by people, certainly by like the CNNs of the world.
Governor DeSantis: (41:28)
They come up to me and they say, ” I’ve been working this whole time. I’m just worried. They say by December 4th, if I don’t do this, I’ll do it.” But here’s what happen and they tell me their situation. Most of them have had COVID and had that. Others just they don’t think it’s the right. So the bottom line is I don’t want them to lose their job, but that’s what was going on. And so, look, I could have very easily just said, “Hey, it’s all Biden’s fault. These companies are doing it. It’s private. It’s not me. I’m not personally mandating it on anyone, so whatever.”
Governor DeSantis: (41:59)
I could have washed my hands of it and said, “You know what, it’s their fault or their fault,” but that’s not leadership. Leadership means you get in there and you do what you can to stand by people. That’s exactly what we did today and that’s exactly of what we’re going to continue to do. And yes, this was something that was really big and we’re obviously glad that people are going to be able to have some protection, but we also have other stuff that we’re going to be doing next year. And these guys in the legislature go up there, they have to work very hard and we make sure that we get our money’s worth on all that.
Governor DeSantis: (42:35)
So thanks everybody. God bless you guys and we appreciate it.