Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the legislation on Thursday, May 11, and described the four relevant bills as part of an effort to "prescribe freedom." This historic event came several months after DeSantis said he wanted the Florida Legislature to pass these permanent bans. (Related: POLITICAL COURAGE: Ron DeSantis wants Florida Legislature to permanently ban COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates.)
DeSantis noted how these new laws point to a need to address the potential of future government attempts to impose health mandates on the populace.
"The danger is now, one of the reasons that we are doing this bill is, yes in Florida we are glad that we stood firm," he said. "But a lot of the elites and the bureaucrats think that this response is how you should do it again in the future if something like that happens."
Arguably the most important bill among the four is Senate Bill 252, which prohibits workplaces, government agencies and schools from requiring people to provide documentation to show that they have been vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 or to wear masks to gain entry to their respective facilities.
The bill also prohibits the aforementioned institutions from requiring COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of employment. It also requires the Florida Department of Health and the Agency for Health Care Administration to develop proper standards for the "appropriate use of facial coverings for infection control" within healthcare facilities.
The state health department and the attorney general's office are allowed to fine institutions and individuals up to $5,000 for each violation of the mandate prohibitions.
Furthermore, the bill prohibits hospitals and other healthcare institutions from interfering with the ability of patients to choose "COVID-19 treatment alternatives" provided that they are recommended by physicians or other providers with privileges at these hospitals and other healthcare settings.
"You should have the right to try these [alternative COVID-19 treatments] under the supervision of your physician, and that is protected in the state of Florida," said DeSantis.
The bill also formally denounced the World Health Organization and its recommendations in the state.
DeSantis also signed Senate Bill 1387, which bans gain-of-function research in the state. DeSantis noted that similar gain-of-function research conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology is likely to blame for the global pandemic.
"We are the first state in the United States to ban formally gain-of-function research," said DeSantis. "Where's the accountability for people like Fauci and these other folks when they said they never did any of this? And we know much of that was not true. So, I'm glad that the legislature stepped up to make a difference here."
The governor also signed Senate Bill 1580, which ensures freedom of speech for physicians as well as provides them with whistleblower protections. "We want our physicians practicing evidence-based medicine. We don't want them to just defer to authority or to just follow the herd," he said.
Furthermore, SB 1580 also grants healthcare providers the ability to opt out of certain services based on a "conscience-based objection." But the bill does not apply to emergency services that are required under state or federal law.
Learn more about the health freedom victories coming out of other parts of the U.S. at HealthFreedom.news.
Watch this episode of "The Healthy American" as host Peggy Hall discusses how one county in Florida is turning itself into a medical freedom sanctuary.