Prior to the 2022 midterm elections, Republican Congressional District 9 candidate Scotty Moore was denied entry into WESH-2’s television studio to debate his Democrat opponent due to WESH’s vaccine requirement.
Shortly after, the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), in conjunction with the Moore campaign, filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Health.
“WESH-2’s unlawful action denied Central Florida voters an opportunity to make informed decisions on election day,” said RPOF in a statement.
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A statement posted by WESH-2 in September said, “The debate rules and vaccine requirements were defined and provided to Mr. Moore and his team well in advance. This is standard for all debate participants. Upon arrival for the scheduled debate this morning, we learned Mr. Moore and some members of his campaign did not meet the requirements. We immediately offered both campaigns to reschedule the debate to a virtual form. Mr. Soto was prepared to debate in-person today and has agreed to a virtual debate. Late today, Mr. Moore declined our offer for a virtual debate.”
On Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health fined WESH-2 for violating Florida’s vaccine mandate ban.
The Florida law, passed by the Florida Legislature and signed by Governor DeSantis in 2021, and now codified at section 381.00316, Florida Statutes, prohibits private businesses from requiring vaccine documentation.
The law in party states, “A business entity, as defined in s. 768.38 to include any business operating in this state, may not require patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or postinfection recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business operations in this state.”
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“This is a victory for freedom. Florida has made clear that unscientific and discriminatory COVID vaccine mandates will not stand in the Free State of Florida,” said the Republican Party of Florida.
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