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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Thursday doubled down on his opposition of coronavirus vaccine mandates, warning that those will “absolutely” have a negative impact on the economy and cause sectors of the economy — some of which are already facing staffing shortages — to suffer even further.

Speaking at a press conference in Niceville, Florida, the Republican governor said his administration is “really concerned” about forced vaccine mandates and the impact it will have on the workforce.

“The fact of the matter is, you take in medical with nurses, even if a fraction of them decide that this is not something they want to do and leave, it will absolutely cause a lot of these health systems to hemorrhage, and then you look at all these other companies that do it and so, I know Biden is trying to force this on everybody,” he said, emphasizing that it should be an individual’s choice to get the vaccine.

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“I don’t think you should get fired over this issue, and we want to protect people’s jobs, but two, it is absolutely is going to have a negative impact on the economy if you’re causing people to lose these jobs because then you got to find those folks,” he continued, adding that those sectors, such as the healthcare industry, already need more workers as it is.

“Let’s be smart about what we’re doing,” he continued. Citing Surgeon General Joe Ladap, DeSantis said the worst thing one can do is enforce these mandates because they cause both mistrust and animosity.

His administration, he added, is currently fighting these roadblocks through litigation and legislation, both of which are “in the hopper.” But overall, saving jobs, the governor emphasized, remains a top priority.

The news comes on the heels of the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) issuing a massive $3.5 million fine on Florida’s Leon County after it fired over a dozen employees over the local vaccine mandate.

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