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Troll of the century? Florida Gov. DeSantis signs bills that limit President Biden's vaccine mandates from Brandon

DeSantis is expected to sign a vaccine related bill from a city whose name shares similarity with a phrase has become conservative code for “F— Joe Biden.”
Credit: AP
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of a monoclonal antibody site Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021, in Pembroke Pines, Fla. The site at C. B. Smith Park will offer monoclonal antibody treatment sold by Regeneron to people who have tested positive for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Is it pure coincidence, pettiness or the troll of the century?

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed several bills Thursday that limit COVID-19 vaccine requirements in Florida from an unincorporated community whose name shares striking similarity with a line has become conservative code for something far more vulgar, “F— Joe Biden.”

DeSantis has become one of the highest-profile Republican governors in the country through his vocal opposition to lockdowns and COVID-19 vaccine mandates, pitting himself against President Joe Biden.

"Let's go, Brandon" has become a not-so-secret handshake that signals Republicans are on board.

So, in a very DeSantis-like fashion, he signed the bills from Brandon, an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Hillsborough County, with many people in the crowd chanting the phrase.

When DeSamtis was asked why he choose Brandon and if it was a nod to the “Let’s Go Brandon” chant he said “I think Brandon is a great American city" with a smirk.

RELATED: 'Let's go Brandon!' Gov. DeSantis calls President Biden 'President Brandon', explains conservatives' new favorite chant

The bills were passed through a Special Session of the Florida Legislature and are immediately effective.

Starting Thursday, private employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates are prohibited and employees can choose from numerous exemptions, including but not limited to, health or religious concerns; pregnancy or anticipated future pregnancy; and past recovery from COVID-19. 

Employees can choose to opt for periodic testing or PPE as an exemption, but employers must cover the costs of testing and PPE exemptions for employees. 

Any employers who violate these employee health protections will be fined.

Additionally, government entities may not require COVID-19 vaccinations of anyone, including employees and educational institutions may not require students to be COVID-19 vaccinated.

RELATED: Gov. DeSantis signs 4 special session bills aiming to combat COVID-19 vaccine mandates

The law also states school districts may not have school face mask policies or quarantine healthy students. Students and parents may sue over any district that violates the law, and recover costs and attorney’s fees.

The bill will remain law until June 2023.

Democratic senators had previously raised concerns about how those fines can have a worse impact on small businesses. They argued the bill would be doing more harm than good. 

Democrats also questioned why $5 million was being allocated for the bill.

RELATED: Florida House moves forward with bills to limit vaccine mandates

This report was prepared with a portion of a story written by affiliates 10 Tampa Bay. To read the full story, click here.