Judge Rules Against DeSantis & For Biden In COVID Mandate Case

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Federal Judge Casey Rodgers has declined a request by Florida authorities to issue a preliminary block on a requirement from the Biden administration for certain healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Florida wanted the court order while a state-backed lawsuit over the rules moves forward. In short, Rodgers concluded that Florida authorities had failed to show that “irreparable injury will occur” if the vaccination requirement is permitted to take effect. Their arguments, she found, weren’t sufficiently grounded in substantive evidence to warrant a ruling in their favor.

As Rodgers summarized it, per CNN:

‘The affidavits in support of the motion include assertions of how the various agencies and institutions anticipate they may be adversely impacted by the mandate… In particular, the affidavits express opinions of agency heads who ‘estimate’ that they ‘may’ lose a certain percentage or a number of employees, or speculate as to the consequences they will suffer ‘if widespread resignations were to occur.’.. However, such opinions, absent supporting factual evidence, remain speculative and may be disregarded as conclusory.’

As recapped by CNN, the particular policy challenged by DeSantis “requires that health care workers at certain providers that participate in Medicaid and Medicare be vaccinated against Covid-19, with the deadline for the first shot set for December 6.” Florida authorities are also involved in separate litigation challenging the Biden administration’s requirements for federal contractors to have their personnel vaccinated. It’s these requirements that were cited by airline companies — including Southwest Airlines and American Airlines — in Texas that opted to go against an attempt by the state’s Republican Governor Greg Abbott to block entities in the state from imposing vaccine mandates. Florida authorities have tried to impose similar rules — the state legislature passed bills last week that would institute fines in response to employers wielding vaccination mandates as a condition of remaining on staff.