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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

NY declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron COVID variant

Gov. Kathy Hochul at an event on Nov. 3. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Friday declared a state of emergency amid rising COVID-19 cases and the newly identified Omicron variant of the virus.

Driving the news: The declaration enables the state to acquire supplies to fight a potential surge in cases, increase hospital capacity and combat potential staff shortages, NBC's local affiliate reports.

Updated 14 hours ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

17 hours ago - Health

WHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries

Matshidiso Moeti, World Health Organization regional director for Africa. Photo: Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

The World Health Organization called on countries Sunday not to impose travel bans on southern African nations amid concerns over the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The U.S. and countries in Europe and the Asia-Pacific announced travel restrictions in response to Omicron, which was first detected in South Africa. It's since been identified in several European countries, Canada, Israel, Australia and Hong Kong. The WHO noted in a statement that only two southern African nations have detected the new strain.