Special Olympics Drops Covid Vaccine Mandate After Florida Threatens $27.5 Million Fine

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The Particular Olympics introduced Thursday that it had dropped its Covid-19 vaccine requirement for the 2022 Particular Olympics USA Video games in Orlando after Florida threatened to nice the group $27.5 million for violating state legislation.

In an announcement on its website,  Particular Olympics lifted the “vaccine requirement as required by state of Florida officers on Could 27, based mostly upon the Florida Division of Well being’s interpretation of Florida legislation.”

Delegates who have been beforehand banned from taking part because of the prior vaccine mandate now have the choice to attend the video games.

“SOI, Particular Olympics North America, and the 2022 Particular Olympics USA Video games Native Organizing Committee are making greatest efforts to accommodate eligible people,” in accordance with the assertion. “We sit up for welcoming hundreds of Particular Olympics athletes, households, and followers to a rare 2022 USA Video games.”

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Extra from ESPN:

The announcement was made after a letter from the Florida Division of Well being mentioned it might impose a $27.5 million nice on Particular Olympics Worldwide for five,500 violations of a Florida statute due to the vaccine mandate. The variety of violations represented a $5,000 nice for every particular person ordered to certify their vaccination standing.

A replica of the letter from the division of well being was obtained by a number of shops, together with ABC Information.

Florida legislation bars companies from requiring documentation of a COVID-19 vaccination. Ron DeSantis, the state’s governor, has strongly opposed vaccine mandates and different coronavirus insurance policies endorsed by the federal authorities, and he praised the Particular Olympics’ change Friday.

The USA Video games are set to start Sunday and run by means of June 12. The occasion is being held at websites round Orlando, Florida, together with on the ESPN Large World of Sports activities Complicated at Walt Disney World.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday shared the excellent news about lifting the vaccine requirement.

“Particular Olympics Int’l was planning on banning Particular Olympians from competing based mostly on covid vaccine standing—in violation of Florida’s ban on vaccine passports. Because of the efforts of our administration, this mandate has been eliminated so athletes like Isabella can now compete!” DeSantis tweeted.

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