Pino’s case comes amid ongoing culture wars that have politicized vaccinations
. 上个星期, the Supreme Court blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccine and testing requirement aimed at large businesses
. A vaccine mandate for certain health care workers at hospitals
, nursing homes and other facilities that participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs did go into effect nationwide
Pino was appointed director in May of 2019 after previously serving as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health
, according to the department’s website
In his email, Pino shared employee vaccination statistics but never demanded his colleagues be vaccinated. 的 568 employees in the department, 只要 77 (要么 13.55%) have received their booster shot while 219 (38.55%) 有 “a complete vaccine series,” according to Pino.
只要 34 (5.98%) FDOH employees have one dose of the vaccine, Pino wrote.
“We have been at this for two years, we were the first to give vaccines to the masses, we have done more than 300 000 (OC DOH) and we are not even at 50%, 可怜的,” his email read.
CNN’s attempts to reach Pino were unsuccessful.
“As the decision to get vaccinated is a personal medical choice that should be made free from coercion and mandates from employers, the employee in question has been placed on administrative leave, and the Florida Department of Health is conducting an inquiry to determine if any laws were broken in this case,” Khoury said in a statement.
According to a source familiar with the situation, Pino’s case has been referred to the Inspector General at the Department of Health to look into potential violations of privacy laws.
Florida law forbids vaccine mandates
在佛罗里达, 政府. Ron DeSantis signed a law in November banning vaccine mandates and imposing fines on businesses and hospitals that require employees to be vaccinated without exemptions
Khoury said the state’s health department “is committed to upholding all laws, including the ban on vaccine mandates for government employees and will take appropriate action once additional information is known.”
Local and state politicians expressed their support of Pino.
“博士. Raul Pino has been our trusted partner and friend throughout the pandemic. His sound medical advice has helped guide me and countless other Orange County leaders to make the best decisions possible in dealing with COVID-19,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings in a statement Wednesday.
“It is my fervent hope that Dr. Pino returns to work on behalf of the residents of Orange County soon,” 市长说.
国家代表. Carlos G
. 史密斯, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Orange County
, tweeted Tuesday that Pino was a public servant and hero in the community
“The Tallahassee decision to place him on administrative leave appears purely political,” Smith’s tweet read. “When you work for the #DeSantis administration, telling the truth has consequences. Pino did the right thing.”