Gov. Ron DeSantis responds to Gainesville requirement to show vaccination card to attend meetings maskless
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -The debate over masks in the city of Gainesville has caught the attention of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. People entering Gainesville City Hall were able to take off their masks if they showed proof of vaccination. In return, the individual got a sticker that identified them as fully vaccinated.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office sent TV20 a statement that reads, “Gainesville’s vaccine requirements violate the spirit of the Governor’s Emergency Order 21-81 which prohibits vaccine passports and protects the fundamental rights and privacies of Floridians. The policy also inhibits public participation in government proceedings that should be open and accessible to the public. Further, the policy violates Florida’s recently enacted law, SB 2006, effective July 1. The City of Gainesville should immediately cease to impose such discriminatory policies upon individuals.”
Gainesville city leaders used an orange sticker to identify those fully vaccinated inside city hall. City Manager Lee Feldman explains it is optional to identify as fully vaccinated, and doing so would allow people not to wear a mask if the individual doesn’t provide proof. They are still required to wear a mask.
“The orange sticker was just a visual cue that would allow anybody who was enforcing the mask requirements inside the room to know whether you needed to be wearing a mask or not,” said Feldman
Resident Nathan Skop believes this is a violation of state orders.
“The President of the United States, the CDC, the Governor of the State of Florida has stated that as a vaccinated citizen, I’m free to go about my life as normal without a mask. Yet, the city commission is requiring me to show proof, and that’s in direct opposition of Florida law,” explained Skop.
According to Feldman, in following CDC orders, they can create the rules for their building.
“Even if you follow the CDC guidelines, they are very clear that businesses and such can still require masks to come in,” said Feldman. “We are looking at this as the proprietor of a building.”
Skop’s concern lies with city leaders’ request to see his vaccination card.
“I’m not going to have my personal health information and my civil liberties trounced upon,” said Skop.
He doesn’t carry his vaccination card and instead proved to city leaders he was fully inoculated another way.
“I showed them that I received my vaccination at the University of Florida via a Facebook post. Ultimately, I prevailed on the issue, but I did not show them my vaccination card,” explained Skop.
According to Feldman, the orange sticker policy was for one day, and city leaders aim to return to full operations without restrictions by July 6th.
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