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(LifeSiteNews) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation yesterday banning dangerous gain-of-function research as well as vaccine passports requiring mRNA or emergency use authorized (EUA) shots for any disease, among other laws designed to cement health freedom in the state.

The sweeping package of health freedom laws also prevents employers from hiring or firing based on vaccination or immunity status, prevents facial covering or COVID-19 testing requirements for entry to any business, school, or government entity in the state, and ensures healthcare providers and payers can opt out of certain healthcare services due to conscience-based objections.

HB 1387 makes Florida the first state in the nation to outlaw research that enhances the ability of pathogens to cause disease, known as gain-of-function research.

During a press conference before DeSantis signed the legislation, he pointed out that gain-of-function research was halted in the U.S. in 2014 because of the realization that its “risks far outweigh the benefits.”

He went on to note that the gain-of-function research was “inexplicably” brought back in 2017, and that “we know there was GOF research being conducted in Wuhan [that] very likely resulted in the emergence of COVID-19.”

SB 252 prevents various forms of “discrimination against Floridians related to COVID-19 vaccination or immunity status,” including the denial of organ donations due to lack of vaccination, DeSantis said during the press conference.

It expands existing legislation so that business and government entities “may not require any person” — not just patrons or customers — to provide any documentation certifying vaccination with an mRNA, emergency use authorized, or COVID-19 shot, or “post-infection recovery from COVID-19, or require a COVID-19 test,” in order to gain entry or service.

Businesses and government entities also “may not discharge or refuse to hire a person; deprive or attempt to deprive a person of employment opportunities … or otherwise discriminate against a person” due to lack of proof of vaccination with an mRNA, emergency use authorized, or COVID-19 shot, lack of proof of COVID-19 post-infection recovery, or failure to take a COVID-19 test.

For vaccines other than those specified (mRNA, EUA, COVID-19), “a business entity shall provide for exemptions and reasonable accommodations for religious and medical reasons in accordance with federal law.”

In addition, such entities may not require face coverings for entry or service, or “otherwise discriminat[e] against persons based on their refusal to wear a facial covering.”

SB 252 furthermore prevents hospitals from “interfer[ing] with a patient’s right to choose COVID-19 treatment alternatives as recommended by a healthcare practitioner with privileges at the hospital,” if informed consent is obtained from the patient.

Regarding such situations, “There’s a companion bill which will protect your medical privacy if you file a complaint,” DeSantis said during the accompanying press conference, referring to SB 238.

SB 1580 aims to protect doctors’ licenses “from medical or accreditation boards that are attempting to punish them for speaking out against the medical establishment.”

The law prohibits boards, or the Department of Health, from taking disciplinary action against or denying a license to an individual solely because they have publicly criticized or supported “a health care service or public policy.”

“These expanded protections will help ensure that medical authoritarianism does not take root in Florida,” DeSantis said in a statement about the legislation package.