The Florida Legislature is about to pass a bill that will provide the strongest protections of any State against encroachment on medical freedom.
Governor Ron DeSantis's "Prescribe Freedom" plan which he laid on on January 17 is what he promises will "permanently protect Floridians from the 'Biomedical Security State'."
We look forward to making the protections we have enacted for Floridians against the biomedical security state permanent and want to ensure that no Floridians face discrimination based on vax status. pic.twitter.com/VXN8hDxDVx
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) January 15, 2023
"I just think it's a civil right to be able to breathe the fresh air and be able to live your life," said DeSantis in January in regard to forced masking that was imposed while America was adhering to policies promoted by Dr. Anthony Fauci.
DeSantis's plan is enshrined in SB 252, introduced by Senator Colleen Burton, and currently making its way through the Florida Legislature. The bill appears to do what DeSantis promised, which is to make the protections from the 2021 Special Session permanent.
"It is the intent of the Legislature that Floridians be free from mandated facial coverings, mandates of any kind relating to vaccines as provided in this section, and discrimination based on such vaccination status," the bill states.
"The Legislature finds that society is harmed by discrimination based on vaccination status as provided in this section when healthy persons are prevented from participating in society and accessing employment opportunities. The Legislature further finds that remedies to prevent such discrimination are in the best interest of this state."
The bill will prevent businesses, employers and educational institutions, public and private from discriminating against anyone based on vaccination status for Covid-19, mRNA, or any other emergency-use authorization vaccine. This prevents "Vaccine Passports" from ever being allowed in the State of Florida in regard to the stated vaccines.
Some medical freedom activists have raised concerns that SB 252 does not go far enough in this regard. "How sure can I be that this will protect us from a future pandemic or a future mandate? What if there is a vaccine that is not emergency use?" asked Justin Harvey of the group 'We Are Change Orlando'. Harvey and his group were hoping SB 222 introduced by Senator Joe Gruters, which is more broad in its definition of vaccine mandates, would make it to DeSantis's desk.
All the protections of SB 252 in regard to Covid-19 mandates are permanent as DeSantis promised.
The only part of the entire law that sunsets in 2025 is a section which defines mRNA vaccines, but Floridians will still be protected from discriminatory hiring and firing based on vaccination status according to the law.
The law states: "For matters relating to vaccines other than those defined under subsection (2), a business entity shall provide for exemptions and reasonable accommodations for religious and medical reasons in accordance with federal law."
Floridians must be provided with exemptions for religious or medical reasons once this bill is signed into law.
"It worries me when something has an expiration date on it. We don't want to have to come back and fight this in two years," said Harvey. "I have to admit, DeSantis has delivered on all medical freedom fronts since April of 2021. He has never wavered on this topic."
DeSantis has voiced his support for protections from vaccination requirements of any kind.
"We have bills in front of the Legislature to take some of the things that we've done to protect people's freedoms, jobs and businesses and to make all those protections permanent in Florida law," said DeSantis in March. "We also don't necessarily say it's only about Covid, because they are going to find something else sometime in the future to try to use and try to take advantage of."
“We have bills in the legislature to take some of the things we have done to protect people’s freedoms.. to make all those protections permanent.
— Chris Nelson 🇺🇸 🏝 (@ReOpenChris) March 16, 2023
SB 252 will prevent any business, employer or educational institutions from discriminating against Floridians based on a positive or negative Covid-19 test, eliminating testing mandates in Florida. The bill has teeth, allowing for fines of up to $5000 per violation.
One of the problems parents have faced is mask and vaccine mandates in private schools. The protections of SB 252 will extend not only to public schools of all grades, but also private schools. Mask mandates in all Florida schools, public and private, from preschool through college will be permanently illegal if SB 252 is signed into law.
A flier is circulating claiming SB 252 is a "Big Pharma Fool You Bill" stating that the bill will "give governing authority to the World Health Organization". This claim is false. In fact, SB 252 has a section that prevents the World Health Organization from imposing their policies on Floridians.
The bill states: "International health organization policies.—A governmental entity or an educational institution may not adopt, implement, or enforce an international health organization’s public health policies or guidelines unless authorized to do so under state law, rule, or executive order issued by the Governor."
Therefore, if the United States government enters into an agreement with the World Health Organization promising to automatically adopt any of their policies, it will not happen in the State of Florida. DeSantis promised that Florida would never go along with a "pandemic treaty" from the World Health Organization and this bill will solidify that promise. Under SB 252, the Legislature retains its sovereignty.
Governor @RonDeSantisFL today on a potential "pandemic treaty" from the World Health Organization:
"In Florida, there is no way we will ever support this."💪 🔥 pic.twitter.com/aDlk0Rec4z
— Team DeSantis 🐊 (@teamrondesantis) May 23, 2022
A serious issue during the pandemic was how patients were limited to treatments approved by the CDC and doctors prescribing alternative treatments were punished. SB 252 addresses this and will allow for patients to choose their own treatments.
The bill states: "A hospital may not interfere with a patient’s right to choose COVID-19 treatment alternatives as recommended by a health care practitioner with privileges at the hospital if the health care practitioner has obtained informed consent from the patient in accordance with s. 456.62. Any hospital that violates this section by preventing a health care practitioner from exercising his or her sound judgment is subject to agency disciplinary action under s. 395.1065."
In March, Florida Doctor John Littell was stripped of his board certification for promoting the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19. SB 252 will prevent hospitals from discriminating against doctors like Littell for voicing opinions different from the medical establishment.
SB 252 will address masking policies within hospitals, preventing hospital employees, patients and visitors from being unnecessarily forced to wear masks outside of a setting where they would be appropriate and will require all healthcare providers to create a policy in line with the law.
Another untruth circulating about SB 252 is that it "removes informed consent". As with the other claims, the opposite is true.
The bill states:
"A health care practitioner treating a patient diagnosed with COVID-19 shall obtain the informed consent of the patient or the patient’s legal representative before prescribing any medication for the treatment of COVID-19. To obtain informed consent, the health care practitioner must provide an explanation of alternative medications for the treatment of COVID-19 and the relative advantages, disadvantages, and risks associated with such alternative medications to the extent necessary to allow the patient or the patient’s legal representative to make a prudent decision regarding treatment."
Finally, SB 252 will protect pharmacists who want to prescribe "alternative treatments' for Covid-19 like Ivermectin or Hydroxychloroquine, and protect them from retribution.
According to the bill, "Any pharmacist properly dispensing an alternative medication prescribed for the treatment of COVID-19 is not subject to disciplinary action by the board or the department based solely on such dispensing."
"When the world lost its mind, Florida was a refuge of sanity, serving strongly as freedom's linchpin," said Governor DeSantis. "These measures will ensure Florida remains this way and will provide landmark protections for free speech for medical practitioners."
The law is expected to pass through the Legislature and make it to DeSantis's desk this week.