Popular Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been often mentioned as a potential Republican presidential contender in 2024, popped in on Fox Nation’s Third Annual Patriot Awards show in Hollywood, Fla., Wednesday evening, where he was the opening speaker.
“It’s an honor for me as governor to be able to welcome the Fox Nation Patriot Awards to the freest state in these United States,” DeSantis told the audience.
The GOP governor used the occasion to tout what he feels were a number of successful policies during the COVID-19 pandemic, most of which were aimed at ensuring Floridians retained the maximum amount of freedoms and civil liberties.
“We protected people’s right to earn a living and business’ right to be open, kids’ right to be in school. We were not going to let Florida descend into a Faucian dystopia, where people’s freedoms were curtailed and their livelihoods were destroyed,” DeSantis said, in reference to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Biden administration’s chief medical adviser and long-serving head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases.
“We choose freedom over Faucism,” DeSantis added.
The governor has regularly pushed back on Fauci’s recommendations, as well as President Joe Biden’s recent vaccine mandate for businesses with more than 100 employees, which was initially implemented by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration earlier this month but suspended by the agency on Wednesday after a federal court barred enforcement of the mandate on constitutional grounds.
To that point, DeSantis used his appearance to announce new legislation that bars Florida employers from enforcing a COVID vaccine mandate.
“I’m happy to say that tomorrow I’ll be signing legislation in the state of Florida that says in Florida, you have a right to earn a living, they can’t make you choose between a jab or their job,” he told the audience.
The governor also said that by next year, he would like to sign legislation that will provide any law enforcement officer moving to the state a $5,000 incentive bonus. The plan stems from efforts in blue cities to “defund” police departments or otherwise hamstring law enforcement.
“We are proud in the state of Florida to stand behind the men and women of law enforcement. When other places were defunding law enforcement, we were funding and then some, we get thousand-dollar bonuses to every police officer in the state of Florida this year,” said DeSantis.
“And next year, I’m going to sign legislation that tells all these folks across the country who are being treated so poorly in Seattle or Portland or Minneapolis in New York. If you come to Florida, you’re going to be welcome and we’re going to give you a $5,000 signing bonus,” he added.
In conclusion, DeSantis noted that the country is relying on patriots to ensure that it remains “free.”
“You got to stand your ground. Hold the line. Don’t ever back down,” he said. “That’s what we’re doing in the state of Florida.”
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