Updated Oct 28, 2021 - Politics & Policy

DeSantis sues Biden administration over contractor vaccine mandate


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday announced a lawsuit against the Biden administration's order requiring federal contractors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus no later than Dec. 8.

Why it matters: This is the Republican governor's latest attempt to undermine federal vaccine requirements, with the lawsuit alleging that such measures are a "radical intrusion on the personal autonomy" of U.S. workers.

  • The lawsuit aims to bring an "immediate end" to the order requiring millions of federal contractors to inoculate themselves against the virus.
  • Last week, DeSantis announced that he would convene a special session of the Florida legislature to combat COVID vaccine mandates enacted by businesses and "provide protections for employees."

Background: DeSantis has fought vehemently against public health measures intended to address the toll of the virus in Florida.

What they're saying: "Just months ago Joe Biden was saying that it wouldn't be appropriate or lawful for the federal government to mandate these COVID shots," DeSantis said in an emailed statement.

  • "Now we have somehow gone from 15 days to slow the spread to 3 jabs to keep your job," he continued.
  • "This is a once in a generation pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 700,000 Americans," a White House official told Axios.
  • "The President has authority to protect the federal workforce and promote efficiency in federal contracting in this way."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the White House's statement.

Go deeper