(Headline USA) Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday banning businesses from requiring customers to show proof they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to get service.
“[V]accination passports reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy,” DeSantis said in his executive order.
It comes amid escalating fears that leftist, having taken control of the federal government, could use such a system to effectively force the vaccine upon citizens, even as many raise serious concerns and objections to it.
Many of the vaccines now on the marketplace have yet to be fully vetted in the rush to distribute them, and some—including those by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson—have reported alarming side-effects, as well as risk of death.
Others have religious objections, including Catholics for whom the use of stem-cell research presents a problem.
Still, others simply do not trust them after a year of left-wing exploitation of the virus for political and financial gain that relied heavily on promoting disinformation about it.
DeSantis, a Republican, had previously announced his intent to issue an order banning so-called “vaccine passports.”
His action also barred any government agency in Florida from issuing such documentation for the purpose of providing proof of vaccinations.
Effective immediately, Florida businesses were barred from requiring patrons to provide documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination to enter a business or to get served.
But the order did not preclude businesses such as restaurants and retail stores from screening protocols and other measures recommended by state and federal health officials.
As of this week, fewer than 33,500 deaths have been attributed to the virus in Florida, which has a population of 21.5 million. The death rate of 0.16% is equivalent to that of influenza in a given year.
The state ranked 27th of 50 in the total number of COVID-attributed deaths, with Democrat-dominated New England states (NY, NJ, MA and RI) occupying the top four spots.
DeSantis’s order also scrapped a plan by a private university near Fort Lauderdale that would have required students and staff to be vaccinated for COVID-19 when they returned for the fall semester.
Nova Southeastern University had announced earlier Friday that vaccinations would be mandatory by Aug. 1.
Nova President George L. Hanbury II said in a statement hours later that the school had planned for universal vaccination “to protect the health and safety of our students and staff,” but that it will comply with DeSantis’ order.
“We will continue to follow all state and federal laws as they evolve,” Hanbury said.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press