The Special Olympics has ended its COVID-19 vaccine mandate and it’s all thanks to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
The sporting event for the disabled is set to take place in Miami, Florida later this year. Governor DeSantis threatened to fine them $27.5 million if they did not remove the mandate, according to Florida state law.
On Friday, the Special Olympics committee announced they would drop the requirements of their staff and athletes immediately “as demanded by the state of Florida officials on May 27, based upon the Florida Department of Health’s interpretation of Florida law.”
They then announced that the change would allow qualified disabled athletes who previously would not or could not meet the requirements to participate before welcoming them to the games.
“Delegates who were registered for the Games but were unable to participate due to the prior vaccine requirement, now have the option to attend. We look forward to welcoming thousands of Special Olympics athletes, families, and fans to an extraordinary 2022 USA Games.”
The official letter from the Florida Department of Health claims that they counted a total of 5,500 violations for the games, justifying the $27.5 million price tag.
“This letter is notice that the Special Olympics International is assessed a $27.5 million fine for 5,500 violations of Section 381.00316 (1), Florida Statutes, after the Department of Health made repeated attempted to avoid imposing fines against this charitable organization to ensure the 2022 USA Special Olympics could be held in Florida without requiring proof of vaccination from delegates.”
The FDH also noted that their policies on vaccine mandates for employees apply equally to for profit business as well as non-profit organizations like the Special Olympics.
DeSantis led a press conference on the topic, praising the athletes and defending their right to participate in such events without suffering from “exclusionary policies” despite their qualifications.
“This is a really significant event for these athletes and you know, in Florida, we want all of them to be able to compete. We do not think it’s fair, or just, to be marginalizing some of these athletes based on a decision that has no bearing on their ability to compete with honor and integrity.”
Under the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida has led the fight against government mandates since the beginning of the pandemic. While he has frequently been criticized by the left, his decision to keep the state open when others shut down ended up benefiting their economy. What do you think of DeSantis? Would he make a good President in the future?