DeSantis: If Pandemic is ‘Over,’ When Will Unvaccinated Military Members be Reinstated?

By Lydia Nusbaum, Florida's Voice

September 19, 2022 Updated 3:09 PM ET

Gov. Ron DeSantis (left, Gage Skidmore), President Joe Biden (right, James Webb Space Telescope).
Gov. Ron DeSantis (left, Gage Skidmore), President Joe Biden (right, James Webb Space Telescope).

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) – After President Joe Biden said in a 60 Minutes interview that the “pandemic is over,” Gov. Ron DeSantis questioned whether the administration would allow unvaccinated military members return to service.

“The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it. The pandemic is over,” Biden said in the interview.

The statement prompted DeSantis, who has fought against mask mandates, vaccine passports and business lockdowns, to ask the president if military members who were discharged due to their vaccination status could return to work.

“Biden declared the pandemic is over,” DeSantis said. “So, when will he let those discharged from the military due to vax mandates return to protecting our country?”

About 3,400 U.S. troops reportedly were involuntarily separated from service for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier this year, DeSantis said the revived Florida State Guard will act as a “landing spot” for those kicked out of the military for refusing to receive COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re not going to have those types of mandates,” DeSantis said in June. “We want people to be able to serve.”

The Florida State Guard is the state’s civilian force to help Floridians in state emergencies such as hurricanes.

In 2021, the Governor signed legislation to ban vaccine passports. DeSantis also pressured Special Olympics International to drop its vaccine mandate for athletes competing in Orlando this June. 

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