Ron DeSantis, Hero Of Vaccine Opponents, Mandated Vaccine Registry For Florida Kids

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Two years earlier than changing into a hero of the anti-vaccine, anti-mask, anti-medical-record legions of Donald Trump supporters, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with out fanfare signed into law a requirement that docs and nurses log all kids’s vaccinations right into a statewide database.

Prior to DeSantis’ approval of the 2019 invoice, docs, nurses and different well being care suppliers might voluntarily enter their sufferers’ immunization data into the vaccine registry. DeSantis made that obligatory.

At the time, earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic, the invoice was not thought-about significantly controversial and sailed via the legislature with a 111-2 vote within the state House and 38-0 within the Senate. DeSantis signed it into legislation together with 10 different payments on June 18 of that year, in accordance with a governor’s office press release, and it took impact on Jan. 1 this year — regardless of opposition from anti-vaccine teams that staged a rally on the state Capitol throughout the 2019 legislative session.

Speakers at that occasion complained concerning the state’s “tracking” of “private medical information” — language that mirrors the DeSantis administration’s present opposition to the so-called “medical tyranny” of vaccine mandates and passports.

Charlie Crist, who as soon as served because the state’s Republican governor and is now a Democratic congressman working for governor once more, as a Democrat, mentioned the rationale for DeSantis’ new stance towards vaccines and medical science is straightforward: 2024.

“The pursuit of the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. I think he found a reservoir of support among the 30 or 40% of Republicans who oppose vaccines,” Crist mentioned. “It’s off to Iowa.”

President Donald Trump listens as Gov. Ron DeSantis talks concerning the coronavirus response throughout a meeting within the Oval Office of the White House on April 28, 2020.

Evan Vucci/Associated Press

DeSantis is at the moment working for a second time period as governor in 2022 however can be visiting early major voting states and taking different steps typical of a possible presidential candidate. His office didn’t reply to HuffPost’s queries about his approval of the 2019 invoice.

That laws DeSantis signed, House Bill 213, acknowledged that each well being care practitioner within the state “is required to report vaccination data to the immunization registry” upon giving a shot to a toddler “from birth to 17 years of age,” making that coverage obligatory relatively than voluntary. The invoice additionally additional expanded the registry to incorporate faculty college students as much as age 23 and made reporting these immunizations obligatory as effectively.

In addition, H.B. 213 codified present language {that a} mother or father or, within the case of school college students, the vaccine recipients themselves, might choose of the registry.

In 2019, DeSantis shocked many Floridians, significantly those that didn’t vote for him, with mainstream Republican insurance policies within the mildew of Jeb Bush and even Crist regardless of counting on then-President Donald Trump’s endorsement to win the Republican nomination and campaigning as a Trump acolyte.

He promised billions of {dollars} to revive the Everglades and posthumously pardoned 4 Black males wrongly convicted of rape in 1949 whereas pursuing usually pro-business insurance policies. But because the pandemic arrived in early 2020, he moved firmly again into the Trump camp, loudly aligning himself with the Fox News viewer base with common assaults on epidemiologists, public well being consultants and what he calls the “corporate media.”

“I think he found a reservoir of support among the 30 or 40% of Republicans who oppose vaccines. It’s off to Iowa.”

– Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist

DeSantis refused to problem a statewide masks mandate and even banned cities and counties final autumn from imposing mandates they handed on their very own. He insisted on reopening colleges greater than a year in the past, months earlier than the arrival of a coronavirus vaccine, and constantly sided with maintaining the financial system wholesome over limiting the unfold of the virus. Restaurants and bars — which consultants think about a first-rate location for the unfold of the coronavirus — closed solely briefly, and have been allowed to totally reopen to pre-pandemic ranges by September 2020.

This spring, he largely ended his early push for Floridians to get vaccinated towards COVID-19 and as an alternative hyped the far-more-expensive monoclonal antibody therapy for many who acquired sick.

More just lately, he has fought towards masks and vaccine mandates and has invited police officers who quit jobs in other states due to coronavirus vaccine necessities to return to Florida and get a $5,000 bonus. DeSantis even employed because the state’s surgeon common a physician who additionally opposes masks and refuses to say whether or not he himself has been vaccinated towards COVID-19.

“He will say or do anything to further his own ambitions, even if that means politicizing science and endangering the lives of Florida’s families,” mentioned Nikki Fried, Florida’s agriculture commissioner and one other Democrat working for the prospect to face DeSantis subsequent November. “We need leaders in Florida who respect science, not just the science of presidential primary polling.”