MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida is not expected to join in the Biden administration’s plan to provide $100 incentives to residents who get COVID-19 vaccinations by mid-August.
President Joe Biden announced the rewards as part of sweeping new pandemic requirements for millions of federal workers as he denounced an “American tragedy” of rising-yet-preventable deaths among unvaccinated people.READ MORE: COVID-19 Vaccination Sites In South Florida
DeSantis said Thursday that giving away the money isn’t that simple.
Christina Pushaw, a spokeswoman for the governor, said in an email to Politico that “the vaccines work to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19, and immunization also helps cut down on the spread of COVID-19 infections in the population (though it is possible for vaccinated people to be infected with COVID-19, infection is much less likely for vaccinated people relative to unvaccinated people). These facts alone should be sufficient motivation to get vaccinated, and millions of Floridians have already made that choice.”
In addition, President Biden said states can use previously allocated money from his COVID relief law, also known as the American Rescue Plan, to pay for the incentives, but Pushaw said in her email that DeSantis lacked the legal authority to use that money on an incentive program because it would require approval from the Legislature. For the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year, the use of the COVID-19 relief fund has already been outlined in Section 152 of the General Appropriations Act, the governor’s office said. So, as a result, there is no money for such an incentive in Florida this year.READ MORE: COVID-19 Testing Sites In South Florida
The cash reward for vaccination was one idea in Biden’s latest plan to boost lagging vaccination rates in many parts of the nation.
WATCH: Biden On Vaccinations For Federal Employees, Military, Federal Contractors
MORE NEWS: Gov. DeSantis Doubles Down On No School Mask Mandates, Says He’s Protecting Parental Rights
The President also announced that federal workers will be required to have the vaccination, “the best defense” against the virus, as he said, or else submit to regular testing, wear masks wherever they work, social distance and not travel. Employees of businesses that want federal contracts will have to do the same.