DeSantis, do your job

Dear Editor:

Our Governor is calling for an expensive and pointless November Special Session of the FL Legislature to fight proposed federal vaccine requirements and those put in place by local businesses and governments in Florida. Most of us know the best way to move out of this pandemic and get our freedom back is through testing and vaccines as recommended by all science-based public health experts. 

Governor DeSantis refused to hold a special session during the first year of the pandemic to tackle the broken unemployment safety net, provide needed aid to struggling small businesses, or to support our healthcare heroes on the frontlines. Now he wants to prevent any government or business from supporting their own citizens’ efforts to stop the spread of COVID. He is putting lives in danger and wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

When the pandemic began, we understood very little about it. Now, almost two years and millions of infections later, it has been documented that so-called “herd immunity” is not robust. Surviving COVID does not provide strong immunity from the disease like a vaccination does. In fact, “herd immunity” is normally used to describe the public health response to a vaccination campaign, not the percentage of people who have been sickened and recovered from the illness.

Although almost 60,000 citizens suffered and died of COVID under his watch, DeSantis is scheduling a November Special Session at taxpayer expense, simply to gin up the Republican base of extremist supporters around the country. He prefers this to allowing local elected officials to govern their communities and businesses to make rational decisions. In the process, he doesn’t care that he is putting more Florida lives and our economy at risk and wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. It has become all about making DeSantis first and putting Floridians last. 

By the time this special session gets scheduled and action is taken, many local governments could be lifting their restrictions as vaccination rates go up and infection rates go down. Our constitution protects counties and cities from this sort of state government overreach, but lawsuits take time and serve his purpose anyway: publicity for his national campaign for president, not doing his actual job as state governor. Our representatives should oppose the special session and allow us to follow science and the constitution, not politics.

Kate Ellison,