TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law Monday afternoon that protects businesses and health providers from COVID-liability lawsuits.
The bill, SB 72, was passed Friday by the Florida House also give nursing homes new protections from COVID-related lawsuits.
He was joined by Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls during a news conference in Tallahassee.
"What this bill says, if you're doing the right things, you're protected," Sprowls said. "If you're doing the wrong things, then there's a way for people to get there."
DeSantis also reiterated his stance against so-called vaccine passports in Florida and said the state will not make the vaccine mandatory.
"It's completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society," DeSantis said.
He said he had concerns about giving this information to companies and the privacy implications.
"We are not going to have you provide proof of [vaccination] just to be able to live your life normally, and I'm going to be taking some action in an executive fashion," DeSantis said.
The governor said he would also work with the Florida Legislature on the matter.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky made a plea to Americans not to let their guard down in the fight against COVID-19. She warned on Monday of a potential "fourth wave" of the virus.
She spoke of a "recurring feeling ... of impending doom."
When he was asked about the CDC director's statement, the governor said he believed the country would continue to see a decrease in cases and hospitalizations.
He said people in positions like the CDC director should instead be "providing calm to people" while still providing the facts.
DeSantis said "talking about doom" sends the wrong message given that more people are getting vaccinated each day.