Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Thursday defended his past actions throughout the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, including his moves effectively barring local governments from imposing fines and mandates that unnecessarily restrictsan individual’s rights, addressing his critics with a blunt, “You’re damn right I overruled them.”
“Some people say hey, these local governments wanted to lock down businesses, wanted to force mandates. They wanted to keep the kids locked out of school. Yeah, you’re damn right I overruled them on that,” he said to applause during a press conference in Brandon, Florida, on Thursday, where he signed legislation aimed to protect Floridians from losing their jobs over forced vaccinations by employers. DeSantis added:
The fact of the matter is, you don’t have the right to do wrong. And if I had not stepped in last year and made sure these local governments couldn’t lock you down, couldn’t mandate, wouldn’t let them fine — we had kids in school last year because of me, not because of them.
In May, DeSantis signed legislation allowing the governor to ” invalidate a local emergency order if it unnecessarily restricts individual rights or liberties” via SB 2006. He also made waves throughout the year after canceling fines imposed on individuals who violated mandates of local governments.
Most recently, DeSantis floated using federal coronavirus funds to pay fines directed to Florida businesses that defy the federal vaccine mandate, which Florida and others are challenging in court.
During the same presser on Thursday, DeSantis reiterated that President Biden does not have the authority to do what he is doing with vaccine mandates, attempting to force employers with 100 employees or more to mandate the vaccine or implement vigorous testing requirements.
“And so the question is, do we actually have a Constitution that constrains people like Biden, or is it just when he loses patience, he can do whatever the hell he wants to?” DeSantis asked. “No, I’ll take the Constitution, thank you very much.”