Florida Sen. Manny Diaz wants to "review" all vaccine mandates - 2021-09-24
Of all the cesspits of anti-science and antivaccine nuttery in the US, Florida has a strong claim to being the most anti-science and nuttiest. First, it has Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose embrace of Great Barrington Declaration-style, "don't worry, be happy," "let COVID-19 rip" policies recently led to his appointment of an utter crank to head up the entire medical and public health bureaucracy of the state. This crank, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, was a member of America's Frontline Doctors, the same group that was pushing hydroxychloroquine a year ago (and is pushing ivermectin now and antivaccine misinformation now) as a miracle cure for COVID-19 and counts among its members a grifting quack and a physician who thinks that demon sperm from sex with demons is responsible for a number of gynecological maladies and was a signatory of the Great Barrington Declaration, which basically advocated letting COVID-19 infect the "healthy" population and using "focused protection" to keep the elderly and others at high risk of serious disease and death safe, neglecting the impossibility of protecting high risk people if the virus is ripping through the population. Unfortunately, Dr. Lapado is not the only crank in charge. Enter Florida State Senator Manny Diaz, whose recent bloviations are remarkable mainly for being utterly honest about what the endgame always was for those resisting COVID-19 mandates:
Florida's ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be a major focus during the 2022 Legislative Session for Sen. Manny Diaz, the top Republican shaping health care policy in the upper chamber. His work could include revisiting existing vaccine requirements long in place in schools, a response to the debate about whether COVID-19 vaccines should also be required. Diaz, who came down with COVID-19 last winter, said he wants to review the state's vaccination efforts as well as Gov. Ron DeSantis' work on getting monoclonal antibody treatments to those who test positive for COVID-19. The Senator, who acknowledges he hasn't gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, says he's firmly against vaccine mandates. At the urging of the Governor, the Legislature earlier this year passed a bill that would prevent private businesses from requiring proof of vaccination from their customers. But the bill did not ban employers from requiring their employees to be vaccinated.
Before I go on to discuss this further, note that this is not just some random back bencher, some irrelevant crank. (Sen. Diaz is a crank all right, but by virtue of his position he is unfortunately far from irrelevant.) Between politicians like Gov. DeSantis and Sen. Diaz plus COVID-19 crank physicians like Dr. Ladapo, it's almost as though Florida is trying to let as many people as possible die. After all, remember how Dr. Ladapo said that he thought that vaccination against COVID-19 was being overemphasized, even going so far as to say that the vaccines have "been treated almost like a religion, and that's just senseless"? As I pointed out before, whenever someone likens vaccination to a religion, he is, knowingly or unknowingly, parroting a common antivaccine talking point.