Special Olympics Drops Vaccine Mandate After Florida Threatens $27.5M Fine
The Special Olympics decided to do away with their vaccine mandate on Friday for the upcoming games in Orlando a day after Florida’s threat of a $27.5 million fine for violating a state law that bans any business from requiring proof of vaccination.
They released a statement saying that their decision to lift the requirement was “based upon the Florida Department of Health’s interpretation of Florida law,” adding that “delegates who were registered for the Games but were unable to participate due to the prior vaccine requirement, now have the option to attend.”
“We don’t want to fight. We want to play,” the statement added.
One athlete that the retraction benefits is golfer Isabella Valle who has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and a shunt in her brain. She was unable to play due to being unvaccinated, even though her doctor recommended against it for health reasons.
A week of political news in your in-box.
We find the news you need to know, so you don't have to.
“We want everyone to be able to compete,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said at a press conference following the reversal. “Finally. we can report that all the athletes will be able to compete. This will be a relief for a lot of athletes.”
Roughly 4,000 athletes, including Valle, will be competing.
DeSantis signed a bill outlawing vaccination requirements last November, as President Joe Biden geared up to federally mandate people to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
This lifting of the mandate also comes with risks as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages the vaccine for people with disabilities, because they may be more susceptible to illnesses.
The games began on Sunday and will run through June 12.
Leave a comment
Get the most-revealing celebrity conversations with the uInterview podcast!