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Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida surgeon general warn against new COVID-19 restrictions, vaccine

'People are inching toward this insanity again,' DeSantis says
Gov. Ron DeSantis pushes back on more mask mandates, Sept. 7, 2023
Posted at 12:25 PM, Sep 07, 2023

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday criticized recent efforts across the U.S. to tamp down a recent jump in COVID-19 cases through temporary restrictions or masking and his state surgeon general warned against getting the latest COVID-19 vaccine, which is expected to be available this month.

The criticism from DeSantis at a news conference in Jacksonville arrived the same day his campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination sent out an email to supporters vowing to "fight back against every bogus attempt the Left makes to expand government control" when it comes to COVID-19 precautions.

Speaking at Culhane's Irish Pub, DeSantis and Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo promised Florida won't be joining states, cities or school districts across the U.S. in temporarily closing schools or mandating mask-wearing because of the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases.

"People are inching toward this insanity again," DeSantis said.

Lapado said there were no arguments for getting the latest vaccine.

"There are a lot of red flags," Ladapo said.

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Ladapo's previous warnings against COVID-19 vaccines merited a public letter from federal health agencies saying his claims were harmful to the public. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent the letter in March to Ladapo, a DeSantis appointee who has attracted national scrutiny over his close alignment with the governor in opposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates and other health policies embraced by the federal government.

Ladapo last year released guidance recommending against COVID-19 vaccinations for healthy children, contradicting federal public health leaders whose advice says all kids should get the shots.

DeSantis said some colleges are still requiring proof of vaccination and some school districts are requiring children to wear masks again.

"As we see this stuff being orchestrated, trying to shove down people's throats, there needs to be pushback," he said. "Because there wasn't pushback back in March of 2020."

DeSantis reminded Floridians that they are protected against such restrictions.

"You are protected, and so you don't have to worry about it," he said. "But if you're in another jurisdiction, do not comply with this nonsense. Stand up for your rights and stand up for yourself."