The Biden White House is regularly upset by Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on several issues, not the least of which is his freedom-based approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic in the Sunshine State.
The governor promotes medical rights to privacy against state intrusion, and Florida has recently passed legislation against vaccine mandates. DeSantis added an extra touch by holding the signing ceremony for the new laws in the City of Brandon as a nod to the gentle “Let’s Go Brandon” taunt.
Meanwhile, Walt Disney World has announced that it will pause its corporate vaccine mandate because of the positive progress made in Florida in the fight against COVID. Disney’s spokesperson told reporters that the company has verified that over 90 percent of its Florida staff have confirmed they are fully vaccinated. The company said that it will deal with additional legal requirements “as appropriate.”
The White House was predictably irritated by Disney’s decision. White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the Disney announcement a “step backward” against COVID. She added that as a Florida company, they are following DeSantis in not “moving forward.”
Even though Disney is generally known as a “progressive” or “woke” corporation, they routinely support Republicans in Florida. There is a limit to how much a corporation running a business can afford to support just politicians who make it more challenging to earn money.
Regarding legal challenges to Biden’s order that private businesses with 100 or more workers mandate the vaccine, Psaki said many business leaders “want to move forward on their own” with mandates. The federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily ordered the administration from moving forward with the private business mandate.
Psaki made it clear that the administration intended to continue to fight to have the mandate “litigated through the process.” She said that the administration will meanwhile continue to urge companies to “protect their workforce.”
As the litigation process moves on its schedule, as it always does, it is encouraging to see Disney moving to allow its workers to enjoy medical freedom in a state where commerce and everyday life are returning to normal.