January 20, 2022

In the backwards republic of Florida, where up is down and black is white, this is exactly the type of behavior one would expect. Firing ("administrative leave") a health official who urged others to get vaccinated is just the height of stupidity.

Source: NBC News

A Florida Health Department official who has been integral in leading central Florida through the coronavirus pandemic has been put on administrative leave as the department investigates whether he tried to pressure employees to get vaccinated.

"As the decision to get vaccinated is a personal medical choice that should be made free from coercion and mandates from employers, the employee in question has been placed on administrative leave," the health department said of the official, Dr. Raul Pino, the department's health director in Orange County.

"The Florida Department of Health is conducting an inquiry to determine if any laws were broken in this case," the Health Department said in a statement, adding that it "is committed to upholding all laws, including the ban on vaccine mandates for government employees and will take appropriate action once additional information is known."

A measure Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law last fall prohibits government agencies from mandating vaccinations and restricts private businesses from requiring vaccinations unless they allow workers to opt-out for medical reasons, religious beliefs, immunity based on previous infections, regular testing or agreements to wear protective gear.

And what did Dr Raul Pino write in this e-mail that was so damning? WFTV obtained a copy.

In it, he wrote, “I have a hard time understanding how we can be in public health and not practice it…”

He wrote that he had an analyst run vaccination data for employees, and that out of the 568 active staff at the department, only 77 had received a COVID-19 booster, 219 had two doses of the vaccine and 34 had only one dose.

“I am sorry but in the absence of reasonable and real reasons it is irresponsible not to be vaccinated,” Pino wrote. “We have been at this for two years, we were the first to give vaccines to the masses, we have done more than 300,000 and we are not even at 50% pathetic.”

Apparently, this ruffled enough feathers to get him suspended from his job, which probably even seems like a rational response in a government run by the likes of Ron DeSantis.

This travesty gave Stephen Colbert another opportunity to poke fun at Florida:

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