Just as Florida’s COVID situation is improving after leading the nation in cases and deaths, GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis is now offering bonuses to anti-vax cops in other states to work in Florida and interact with the public.
“On a scientific basis, most of those first responders have had COVID and have recovered,” DeSantis told Fox News’s Maria Bartiromo on Sunday. He offered no evidence that police refusing to comply with their local vaccine mandates have contracted and recovered from the disease.
“They have strong protection,” he added, again with no information supporting his assumption, “and so I think that influences their decision” not to get vaccinated.
DeSantis said he wants to offer police officers refusing to be vaccinated a $5,000 bonus to work in Florida. He doesn’t yet have the money to do so, but plans legislation allocating the funds.
“We’re actually actively working to recruit out-of-state law enforcement because we do have needs in our police and our sheriff’s departments. So, in the next legislative session, I’m going to hopefully sign legislation that gives a $5,000 bonus to any out-of-state law enforcement that relocates in Florida,” DeSantis said.
So “NYPD, Minneapolis, Seattle, if you’re not being treated well, we will treat you better here. You can fill important needs for us, and we will compensate you as a result,” he added.
Despite a COVID death toll in his state of 58,000 people, DeSantis is vehemently opposed to mask and vaccine mandates, as is his new hand-picked surgeon general, Dr. Joseph Ladapo.
A state senator who has cancer kicked Ladapo out of her office last week after he and two aides refused to put on masks before meeting with her.
“I told him I had a serious medical condition,” said state Sen. Tina Polsky, who begins radiation therapy for breast cancer this week. Cancer patients are at a higher risk of contracting COVID and severe cases of the disease.
“It was so shocking to me that he treated me in this manner,” Polsky told The Associated Press.
“If he is a surgeon general for the next several years, I am really concerned about a future public health emergency and not being able to rely on him for necessary guidance and proper scientific leadership.”
Check out DeSantis’ rant against vaccine mandates and his plea for unvaccinated cops to fill the streets of his state in the video clip up top. His comments on recruiting police begin at 7:40.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.