A health official who has helped lead central Florida’s response to the pandemic has been put on administrative leave as state officials investigate whether he tried to compel employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19 in violation of state law.
The state health agency is conducting an inquiry into Raul Pino, director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County, “to determine if any laws were broken in this case,” Florida Department of Health press secretary Jeremy Redfern said in an email.
A measure Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law last fall prohibits government agencies from implementing vaccine mandates and restricts private businesses from having vaccine requirements unless they allow workers to opt out for medical reasons, religious beliefs, immunity based on a previous infection, regular testing or an agreement to wear protective gear.
“The Department 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,” Redfern said in the email. He didn’t offer further details. Continue Reading