President Biden is actively trying to “plunge people into destitution” with “divisive” vaccine mandates, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said on Friday, ripping the president for essentially forcing workers out of jobs.
Speaking at a press conference in Naples, Florida, DeSantis again addressed the forthcoming mandates from the Biden administration, forcing businesses with over 100 employees to mandate vaccines or testing and threatening to withhold Medicaid and Medicare funding from hospitals that do not implement the rule.
“No one should lose their job over these shots. We want to protect people’s jobs,” he said, explaining that many of these are people — particularly healthcare workers and first responders — are those who were working this whole time and exposing themselves to the virus last year despite the risk.
“And we considered them heroes just a year ago. Now you’re going to let them go by the wayside and you’re not going to let them work anymore?” he asked, noting that most in the healthcare industry who contracted the virus recovered and have a “strong protection” via natural immunity.
The mandates are going to inflict further problems on the healthcare industry, which is already short-staffed, he warned.
“They also have a mandate on any entity that gets Medicare and Medicaid. So they’re threatening these hospitals, ‘If you don’t do this mandate, you don’t get reimbursed for Medicare or Medicaid,'” DeSantis explained:
Well, the hospitals — you can’t do business, because most of your patients are Medicare patients, particularly in a place like Southwest Florida. I think that’s unconstitutional what they’re doing. I think it’s illegal. I don’t think they have the authority to just issue these dictates and threaten to pull off — who knows how much funds that would end up being.
The Republican governor said many hospitals are currently responding to that threat the Biden administration has “placed over their head.”
“And what’s the result going to be? Exactly what you just said. You’re going to have some people who decide to walk away. This is at a time where you have acute shortages in healthcare workers,” he said, noting it is not just about the virus, as staff is clearly needed to treat people with other illnesses and issues.
“So we’re looking at options to fight back against Biden,” he said before blasting the president for his divisive edicts.
“You are trying to take people’s jobs away over this issue. You are trying to plunge people into destitution. You are taking away their livelihoods. Nobody else is doing that. You are the one that is being divisive about this,” he said.
“To say to a police officer who’s been working this whole time or a nurse, or a firefighter that now they lose their job … those guys had to answer the call,” he continued, railing against the president’s mandates.
“And now you’re going to toss them aside? He is the one that is being divisive on this. We believe people should be able to make their own decisions,” he added, triggering applause.
DeSantis also briefly walked through the success Florida has experienced since launching its monoclonal antibody treatment program, which the Biden administration famously opted to ration.
From the time they started the monoclonal antibody program, Florida saw 52 straight days of a decline in coronavirus positive patients in hospitals across the state, as well as 57 straight days of the 7-day average of new admissions declining. DeSantis said he believes admissions are down close to 85 percent and added that infection rates in Florida are among the lowest in the country.