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DeSantis Hits Florida County with Massive Fine Over COVID Mandates

The Florida Governor wasn’t bluffing.

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When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis first announced that he would not allow private businesses or local municipalities to enforce vaccine and mask mandates, the overwhelming sentiment among those who opposed him that they would test his resolve.  Instead of complying with the order from the Governor, cruise lines, airlines, schools, and other organizations decided that they would simply “resist”, (to borrow a phrase from the melodramatic Democrats), and see if DeSantis actually had the audacity to take action against them.

Spoiler alert:  Ron DeSantis isn’t backing down.

The Florida Health Department fined Leon County on Tuesday for violating the state’s ban on vaccine mandates after the county fired 14 employees for not complying with its policy, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced on Tuesday.

“We must protect the jobs of Floridians and preserve the ability of Floridians to make their own decisions regarding what shots to take,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter.

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The county shot back.

Leon County’s administrator, Vincent Long, said in a statement the county’s vaccine mandate “was not only completely legally justifiable, but it was a necessary and responsible action.”

He added that the county intends to “enforce its rights” using available remedies to settle the issue with its vaccine mandate and the state’s law against it.

DeSantis’ bold action has been parroted in Texas, where Governor Greg Abbott was recently scolded by the White House for his anti-mandate maneuvering.  That attack, along with many that have been level against DeSantis, achieve little more than revealing the insecurities of the Democratic Party to nation at large, with the Texas and Florida lawmakers having both been rumored to be exploring 2024 presidential bids.

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Military Readiness

A Political Cartoon By A.F. Branco Exclusively for Flag and Cross ©2021

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A Political Cartoon By A.F. Branco Exclusively for Flag and Cross ©2021

See more A.F. Branco cartoons on his website Comically Incorrect.

 

 

A Political Cartoon By A.F. Branco Exclusively for Flag and Cross ©2021 See more A.F. Branco cartoons on his website Comically Incorrect.    

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Southwest Caves to Pressure from Anti-Vaccine Employees

But there’s one heck of a catch.

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Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees.

The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.  But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue.

Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters.

By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down.

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Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees.

“The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber.

And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement.

The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported.

It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.

Last weekend was an unfortunate one for Southwest Airlines, who suffered from the cancelation of nearly a third of their flight schedule…and just days after they announced that a vaccine mandate would soon go into effect for their thousands of employees. The airlines denied that the vaccine mandate had anything to do with the cancelations, blaming weather and air traffic control issues.  But, when researchers compared the number of total flights cancelled to the number of Southwest flights cancelled, it was fairly obvious that this was a localized issue. Only a few days after that, a massive protest of their vaccine mandate hit home near headquarters. By Tuesday of this week, the airline had been forced to back down. Southwest Airlines dropped a plan to put unvaccinated workers with pending exemptions on unpaid leave after a December 8 deadline following protests by their employees. “The employee will continue to work, while following all COVID mask and distancing guidelines applicable to their position, until the accommodation has been processed,” according to an internal note obtained by CNBC written by Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Hospitality Steve Goldberg and Vice President and Chief People Officer Julie Weber. And then, even after a new deadline was set, the company doesn’t appear to be baring its teeth in regard to enforcement. The company is giving employees until November 24 to finish their vaccinations or apply for a medical or religious exemptions. While these exemptions are pending, employees will continue being paid, and those who are rejected will continue working “as we coordinate with them on meeting the requirements (vaccine or valid accommodation),” CNBC reported. It was unclear exactly where the buck would ultimately stop with the new timeline, but there is little doubt that we’ll soon find out.

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