MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber has slammed Governor Ron DeSantis after he announced that county and city governments would be fined if they mandated that their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19.
"He's spreading these conspiracies about vaccines and now stopping major employers from getting their employees, who deal with the public every day, vaccinated. This is really horrible," said Gelber.
On Monday, DeSantis said cities or counties that require employee vaccinations would be fined $5,000 per violation, potentially millions of dollars statewide. At a news conference near Gainesville, he said vaccine mandates are not about the science.
"I don't support mandates at all, but if you're doing mandates based off this, if you're really following science, you would acknowledge this natural immunity and instead they ignore it," he said.
Many health experts have said a person's natural immunity after recovering from COVID-19 is not as strong as the protection provided by the vaccines.
DeSantis cited a recently passed state law that bans private businesses, schools, and local governments from requiring proof of vaccination to "to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the governmental entity's operations in this state."
"You do not need a law degree to know this is idiotic and we're not going to let somebody, including unfortunately our own governor, put our residents in danger," said Gelber.
The law, however, does not specifically prohibit those entities from requiring workers to get vaccines.
Many local governments have already required their employees to get vaccinated, with opt outs for medical and religious reasons and weekly testing for those not vaccinated.
On Miami Beach, all new employees must be vaccinated. Masks are mandatory in all indoor city facilities regardless of vaccination status. All employees and visitors are required to wear masks.
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