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DeSantis says he's 'offended' that a police officer 'could lose their job' over vaccine mandate

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has slammed Biden's federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate - and raged he was 'offended' that a police officer 'could lose their job' if they refuse to they the shot.

DeSantis, who's been named as a potential 2024 presidential candidate, said he vows to fight the federal government in court.

'Let's not have Biden come in and effectively take away - threaten to take away - the jobs of people who have been working hard throughout this entire pandemic,' DeSantis said during a news conference this week, according to a report by Business Insider.

'I am offended that a police officer could potentially lose their job. I just think it's fundamentally wrong to be taking people's jobs away, particularly given the situations that we see ourselves facing with the economy,' he said.

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'I am offended that a police officer could potentially lose their job,' Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said of the pending federal vaccine mandate

DeSantis lashed out at the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates proposed by President Joe Biden, picture, while calling it a violation of Florida state law on Thursday

According to the federal government's rule, companies with over 100 employees must require vaccination or hold weekly testings, a ruling that will affect around 80 million American workers.

The mandate would also affect nearly 17 million healthcare workers, alongside federal employees and contractors. 

Currently, 65 percent of Americans have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

DeSantis added that the state's lawsuits against the federal vaccine mandates will be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. 

Last month, Republicans took aim at the Biden administration for the move, with even Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson - who has promoted the vaccine in his own state - claiming Biden's decision to enact a nationwide mandate would not be helpful in increasing vaccination rates.  

'I support businesses being able to require vaccination, but it's their own independent choice for their workplace,' he said last month. 

DeSantis added that the state's lawsuits against the federal vaccine mandates will be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Pictured: Coronavirus in the USA, showing a total of 44,918,127 cases and 724,166 deaths

Number of new US COVID-19 infections per day, showing a spike in daily cases in late August and into early September

'But to have the federal mandate will be counterproductive. It's going to increase resistance. We're going to grow our vaccinations whether you have this or not.' 

Meanwhile, DeSantis has fought with school districts statewide that have implemented or attempted to implement mask mandates, while rejecting the idea of vaccine passports.

The Republican governor recently appointed Dr. Joseph Lapado as Florida's new surgeon general, who himself has vocally opposed mask mandates while adding that COVID-19 vaccines are 'nothing special.'

Dr. Lapado also promoted the use of hydroxychloroquine to fight the virus, which the World Health Organization said last year was not an effective method to prevent or treat the coronavirus.

Pictured: percentage of the US population vaccinated so far, with 65 percent of Americans having at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Daily COVID-19 vaccinations in the US show a marked drop over the last several months

In an October 6 violation notice, the Florida Department of Health fined Tallahassee's Leon County $3.57 million after the jurisdiction mandated that hundreds of workers in the county get vaccinated.  

14 workers employed by the county were fired for choosing to not receive the vaccine, with local officials looking to defend the mandate in court, the Tallahassee Democrat reports.   

Florida has seen a surge in COVID-19 infections since this past summer, due in part by the more-infectious Delta variant.

Over 57,000 people have died across the state since the pandemic began back in March 2020, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University.  

A study conducted by a French government-backed scientific organization Epi-Phare including almost 23 million people found that vaccines did reduce the risk of contracting a more severe case of the coronavirus by nearly 90 percent in individuals 50 years and older.