Florida businesses and health care centers will now be protected against frivolous coronavirus lawsuits with a new bill signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday.
Although lawsuits that are still determined to be credible will have the ability to proceed, Bill SB 72 will specify requirements for lawsuits alleging virus-related damages and “deter unfounded lawsuits against individuals, businesses, health care providers, and other entities.”
“Today I was pleased to sign SB 72 to protect Florida’s businesses and health care providers against frivolous COVID-19 lawsuits,” the Republican governor, who was one of the first state leaders to completely open his state amid the pandemic, leaving regulatory decisions up to local leaders and individual entities, tweeted Monday.
He added that the legislation “protects the livelihoods of Floridians.”
The law notes that health care workers “must be able to remain focused on serving the health care needs of their respective communities and not on the potential for unfounded lawsuits.”
Thank you to President @WiltonSimpson, Speaker @ChrisSprowls and members of the Florida Legislature for answering my call and quickly passing this legislation that protects the livelihoods of Floridians.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 29, 2021
The Florida Chamber of Commerce pointed out that certain legal actions “may seem reasonable” in the midst of COVID-19, but people “may attempt to construe these actions differently in hindsight when calm is restored.”
Similar language in the bill, backed by the Florida Chamber of Commerce, applies to businesses and other entities. The legislation adds that while certain legal actions “may seem reasonable” amid COVID-19, people “may attempt to construe these actions differently in hindsight when calm is restored.”
“One of our top priorities since day one of the pandemic, with your signature, [Florida]’s job creators no longer have to fear frivolous lawsuits as we continue relaunching [Flordia]’s economy,” the state’s Chamber of Commerce tweeted Monday.
— Florida Chamber (@FlChamber) March 29, 2021
Could Gov. Ron DeSantis Be The Favorite GOP Front-Runner for 2024?
Thanks in part to his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in his state, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is being discussed as a potential GOP frontrunner for the 2024 presidential race.
Gov. DeSantis decided not to lock down like most other states or enforce a state-wide mask mandate. This decision allowed businesses in Florida to flourish and schools to stay open all the while having better results than states such as California and New York who have had some of the strictest lockdowns which resulted in the tanking of their economies.
If those two other states weren’t doing poorly enough, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York now finds himself in the middle of a scandal involving a nursing home death cover-up where the numbers are much higher than reported. Gov. Gavin Newsom of California imposed some of the strictest lockdowns, including not allowing indoor or outdoor dining, but that didn’t stop him from having a nice dinner indoors with a large group and is now facing a recall in his state.
“Ron DeSantis is having a moment with conservatives,” said Josh Holmes, a top adviser to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. “Part of this is liberals tried to cast this in the yin-and-yang comparison with Cuomo … It’s policy and it’s partly stylistic, the way he handles the news media and his blue-collar appeal.”
Early on in the pandemic, both Newsom and Cuomo won national praise for their handling of the pandemic while DeSantis was panned for his more economy-focused and laissez-faire approach — one closely aligned with Donald Trump’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. Now conservatives are relishing the contrast and holding up DeSantis as an example of effective governance.
But it’s the fight in DeSantis that has animated conservatives, said Holmes, pointing to a recent press conference DeSantis held to announce a proposal to crack down on Big Tech where, in accusing the news media of having double standards, he told a reporter at one point that “you can whiz on my leg but don’t tell me it’s raining.”
While Politico points out that DeSantis may not have nationwide popularity yet, he certainly seems headed that way and many people in other states are starting to take notice.
DeSantis Attacked by Media for Prioritizing COVID Vaccines for Elderly
Given all that we know about COVID-19 and the severe risk it poses to the elderly population, it should not be controversial that a governor has chosen to give senior citizens in his state priority for getting the coronavirus vaccine.
Only, it’s a Republican governor, so that changes everything. Now, it’s racist and a scheme to obtain votes for reelection.
Last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida said his administration was focusing vaccine efforts on “communities that had high levels of seniors.”
In response, an NBC News headline stated: “Florida governor accused of playing politics with Covid vaccine.”
CBS News decried the plan: “The zip codes are two of the county’s wealthiest and whitest,”
The Washington Post noted: “Ron DeSantis (R) unveiled a ‘pop-up’ clinic offering coveted coronavirus vaccines in an affluent, mostly White part of Manatee County.”
“How has he played politics with the coronavirus vaccine?,” writes BizPacReview, “By zeroing in his state’s vaccine coronavirus efforts on communities that contain a large number of seniors, regardless of race, gender and other immutable traits.”
According to NBC News, the true reason why DeSantis picked these zip codes is that senior citizens are “one of Florida’s most potent voting blocs.”
The left-wing outlet also complained that, by vaccinating seniors first, the governor had violated the CDC’s extremely controversial original vaccine distribution guidelines.
So, why is it the media are attacking DeSantis with such furor over a logical plan to vaccinate the most at-risk population first?
BizPac speculates it has nothing to do with science and everything to do with taking the heat off off New York Governor Andrew Cuomo:
Overall, this seems like yet another non-scandal scandal about DeSantis. But why? And why now? The theory from some observers is that the media is trying to distract from the real scandal threatening to engulf New York Gov. Cuomo.
The media is actually outraged that Ron DeSantis is making it easier for elderly people to get vaccinated in Florida
Maybe if he put sick patients into nursing homes, leading to thousands of deaths, and then covered it up he could get positive press—even an Emmy, perhaps?
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) February 21, 2021