Florida Governor Ron Desantis recently signed a bill effectively banning COVID-19 vaccine passports before announcing a new executive order that will suspend all state pandemic restrictions on July 1.
Last month, Florida lawmakers passed ‘Senate Bill 2006’, which gave Desantis the authority to override state emergency mandates. The bill also included a provision that bans all vaccine passports with fines of up to $5,000 for violations.
“I’m going to sign the bill. It’s effective July 1. I’ll also sign an executive order pursuant to that bill invalidating all remaining local emergency COVID orders effective on July 1,” Desantis said on Monday. “But then, to bridge the gap between then and now, I’m going to suspend, under my executive power, the local emergency orders as it relates to COVID.”
Desantis described the move as the “evidence-based thing to do” as other states across the country begin to make similar moves while the COVID-19 pandemic comes to a close.
The Republican governor has been critical of vaccine passports from the beginning, arguing that they create two separate classes of society.
“You have a right to participate in society, go to a restaurant, movie, a ballgame, all these things without having to divulge this type of information,” he said.
Just last week, former President Donald Trump said that he was considering campaigning for the presidency in 2024 with Desantis as his running mate, although Trump has not yet given a definite answer on whether or not he plans to run again.