☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Thursday, November 11, 2021 ☙ SEASONS 🦠
The promised breakdown of the Special Session bills; developments in our Covid cases; Newsom discovers Covid is seasonal; another study finds the injected still spread; and more...
🪖 Happy Veteran’s Day! And a big C&C Thank You to all our current and former military service members and families.
Today’s roundup includes: the promised breakdown of the Special Session bills; developments in our Covid cases; recently-returned Governor Newsom discovers that Covid is seasonal; another study finds the injected still spread; and the Washington Times prints some stuff you’d never expect.
⚖️ *SPECIAL SESSION ROUNDUP* ⚖️
Here’s a link to the Special Session bills if you’d like to read them for yourself: https://tinyurl.com/edxefcjk
Everybody else, here are the highlights:
📖 New section 381.00317 requires opt-outs for Covid vaccine mandates. It says that employers MUST grant exemptions for:
— medical reasons, including pregnancy or anticipated pregnancy (with a DOH form signed by a doctor, nurse, or PA)
— natural immunity (with a DOH-approved antibody test)
— Periodic testing election at no cost to the employee (DOH defines how often)
— PPE election (employee fills out DOH form)
— Religious reasons (employee fills out DOH form)
If an employee opts for ANY of the exemptions, then “the employer must allow the employee to opt out of the employer’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate.” Otherwise the Department of Legal Affairs will investigate, give the employer a chance to do the right thing (including paying the employee back pay for any lost wages), and if not, fine the employer. A lot. Fines can be up to $10,000 per violation for small businesses and up to $50,000 per violation for bigger businesses.
I believe the bill was drafted this way to work around the Biden mandates, in case they aren’t set aside by the courts. It’s very clever.
📖 New section 381.00319 bans mandates for students:
— “an educational institution or elected or appointed local official may not impose a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for any student.” Period.
— Parents (or students 18 or older) can sue schools to enforce the section and can recover their attorney’s fees and costs.
📖 New section 112.0441 bans mandates for all public employees:
— “An educational institution or a governmental entity may not impose a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for any full-time, part-time, or contract employee.” Period.
— All contrary laws, rules, or policies in existence at the time of passage of the bill are NULLIFIED.
— Employees already terminated can get state re-employment assistance.
📖 Section 1002.20 would be amended to ban face masks, shields, or other coverings — everywhere. Schools OR counties. Students and employees cannot be quarantined or forced to stay home if they have no symptoms. People who have to sue to enforce these rights can recover their attorney’s fees and costs.
The attorney’s fees provisions give these new laws teeth. There will be a lot of attorneys willing to take these cases.
All the above laws will automatically expire June 1, 2023. I suppose it can be renewed and extended if necessary. We plan to encourage lawmakers to tweak the bill by adding protection against discrimination toward uninjected employees in hiring or in the workplace.
If not, we’ll keep working on these things for the regular session. And we’ll be learning about other things to modify or add as we go along.
But wait, there’s more!
📖 HB 5B/SB 6B orders the State of Florida to begin transitioning away from the federal OSHA framework. So. Since this requires a lot of additional lawmaking to replace parts of OSHA that various constituencies want to keep, it’ll take some drafting for the regular session in the spring. But this bill starts the process.
📖 Finally — and this should make a lot of people happy — obnoxious section 381.00315 will be amended to remove the ability of the State Health Officer to mandate any vaccinations on anyone. Even though I’ve never been super worried about this law, since it’s absolutely unconstitutional and has never been used, it has still irritated a whole lot of folks just by existing. Good riddance.
The Special Session laws are a terrific Christmas stocking of quick fixes. Next, we’ll get to work making more serious changes for the regular session.
🔥 There’s a rally planned for Medical Freedom to support the special session bills. It starts Tuesday, November 16, at 1pm in the Florida Capitol Courtyard. Might be a fun road trip.
⚖️ *LITIGATION UPDATE* ⚖️
Yesterday, we had a mixed day in our cases: a success and a setback.
🔥 Alachua County’s School Board, facing an imminent hearing on our petition for a writ of mandamus for their defiance of state law, voted yesterday in emergency session to come into “full compliance.” Parents and kids in Alachua County can now breath easier. Literally.
Mandamus is an extraordinary remedy, used when public officials do or don’t do things they legally must or mustn’t. If you follow me. We filed it in the Court of Appeals in Tallahassee, and won a strong order condemning the school board for acting unlawfully. The Appellate Court then sent the case back down to the local court for a limited hearing, just to find out if my clients were ACTUALLY parents of kids in the district. The school board had argued it had no idea whether they were or weren’t district parents and didn’t believe me.
That court hearing — where I would’ve called my parents to the stand one by one and had them swear they were district parents — was coming up early next week. But the school board saw the writing on the wall. At the emergency hearing yesterday, the school board member who called the motion said, “the courts have left us no path forward.”
So, let’s just say the school board decided to do the right thing. Someone sent me a “highlights reel” from the school board meeting: https://tinyurl.com/tzcyyka5.
🔥 Meanwhile, the federal court in Pensacola denied our request for an emergency injunction on behalf of Ascension Hospital Group employees, who are facing an injection mandate tomorrow. It was my first case against a private (non-government) employer mandate. I’d argued that Ascension — a $6B hospital chain — was a “state actor” and should be subject to constitutional limitations.
Normally the Constitution only limits government actors, like cities, counties, and school boards. But sometimes, when a “private” company helps the government further its schemes, the courts can find it should be subject to the Constitution, too. Sounds good so far, right? The trouble is, you have to prove the connection with tangible evidence, which can be hard to scrape together on short notice when you’re in an emergency.
My sense from the hearing was that we ALMOST proved it. The judge pondered the fact that Ascension announced its mandate on July 27 — a little over a month BEFORE the official announcement for hospital workers on September 9. And the hospital filed an affidavit from an HR manager swearing its mandate was completely its own idea, and they had no idea AT ALL that the Biden Administration was encouraging hospital workers to get the jab. It never even occurred to them. Our evidence included expert affidavits, news reports, a July 26 statement from Ezekiel Emmanuel, and statements from the White House’s website.
But, between those two concrete facts — the early date and the HR director’s affidavit — the Court concluded that our experts’ opinions and all the circumstantial evidence wasn’t enough to carry the high burden needed to extend Constitutional limitations to a private hospital.
We aren’t completely out of moves to help these heroic healthcare workers, but it was a setback. And thankfully, the special session is right around the corner.
Now, having given you the bad news, there was an amazing development in what the Court ALSO found. The federal district Court also courageously found that on the undisputed evidence we’d proved that the injections don’t stop Covid from spreading; injected people likely spread Covid MORE than uninjected people; and the shots are the most dangerous vaccines ever made. And some other choice findings. I’ve ordered a transcript and will give you a full report when I get it.
As far as I know, this is the first time in the U.S. that any court anywhere has made findings about the vaccines’ efficacy and risks. It is literally a monumental development, and I’m still thinking about everything that it implies.
And. I am looking forward to starting discovery. We’re going to find out if Ascension’s HR director told the truth in her affidavit. So.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🔥 With California’s Covid rates now FOUR TIMES those in Florida, and rising, oily Governor Gavin Newsom — recently returned from his Halloween vacation — has finally discovered SEASONALITY. “This is hard for me to say because it makes me more unpopular… California is now experiencing an increase. Well, we know why. There’s a seasonality to COVID. It’s not particularly difficult.”
Welcome to where the rest of us have been for over a year! But … what about the injections and the mandates, Governor? I thought they were supposed to end Covid? Stop the spread? Hit Covid Zero? How can this be?
During the clip he laughs maniacally like some kind of lunatic Bond villain. Everything’s so funny!
🔬 A new study published in the Lancet last week concluded, COVID-19 vaccines have “minimal” impact on preventing transmission of the delta strain. MINIMAL. Like, very very little. The groundbreaking findings showed that fully vaccinated infected people infected others in their household slightly MORE (25%) as unvaccinated people did (23%). The researchers also found that vaccinated people were only somewhat less likely to contract the virus (25%) compared with the unvaccinated (38%).
A related op-ed published in the Boston Herald — of all places — relies on the study to argue that injection mandates don’t make any sense. If people want PERSONAL protection, they can get the shots. Otherwise, getting the shot helps no one.
The study is titled, “Impact of Delta Variant and Vaccination on SARS-CoV-2 Secondary Attack Rate Among Household Close Contacts.” The researchers concluded that “close-contacts of vaccinated Delta-infected indexes did not have statistically significant reduced risk of acquisition compared with unvaccinated Delta-infected indexes.”
🔥 The Washington Times published an op-ed yesterday headlined, “Biden team won’t admit it, but the COVID-19 pandemic is over.” The story notes the falling national cases (except in California, of course) and the injection rates:
“The fact of the matter is COVID-19 case rates have been declining precipitously nationwide. The number of new daily COVID-19 cases has dropped 57% nationally since peaking on Sept. 1, as more people get vaccinated or recover and enjoy natural immunity. Some 72% of the American population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 64% have been fully vaccinated. Nearly 81% of adults over the age of 18 have been fully vaccinated – hitting Dr. Anthony Fauci’s “75 to 80-plus%” target on reaching herd immunity.”
But even more impressive, the Washington Times allowed this gem:
“The drug Ivermectin has been used successfully on some patients when prescribed by a doctor, as has hydroxychloroquine. Both are FDA-approved inexpensive generic drugs that have been used for decades to treat other ailments.”
The fact this made it into a national newspaper means its safe again to mention ivermectin and — miracle of miracles — hydroxychloroquine. Progress.
Have a great Veteran’s Day and I’ll see you back here tomorrow for another cup.
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