DeSantis bill signing interrupted by 'Lets go, Brandon!' chants

Gov. Ron DeSantis opens Fox Nation’s Patriot Awards

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis welcomes the award show to the Sunshine State.

A crowd supportive of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis chanted “Let’s Go, Brandon” as the governor prepared to sign a package of anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate bills Thursday in Brandon, Florida.

DeSantis signed four bills from the COVID-19 special legislative session into law, which will require private employers to allow vaccine exemptions including, but not limited to health or religious concerns; pregnancy or anticipated future pregnancy; and past recovery from COVID-19. The legislation also prevents schools from requiring students to be vaccinated, strips the surgeon general’s ability to mandate vaccines, and takes steps for Florida to exit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“Nobody should lose their job due to heavy-handed COVID mandates and we had a responsibility to protect the livelihoods of the people of Florida,” DeSantis said.

The crowd chanted “Let’s go, Brandon” after state Attorney General Ashley Moody celebrated the bill signing being held in her “hometown” of Brandon.

“The significance of signing this legislation in Brandon, Florida, is not lost on the governor,” DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw said Thursday.

The phrase “Let’s go, Brandon” exploded after an NBC reporter mistakenly used the phrase to describe a NASCAR crowd that was chanting “F— Joe Biden.”

Earlier in November, DeSantis dubbed the Biden administration the “Brandon administration” during a press conference in Palm Beach.

During Thursday’s signing, DeSantis was briefly joined by Florida second-grader Fiona Lashells, who made headlines earlier this month after she was disciplined by her school 16 times and suspended for 36 days for refusing to wear a mask.

“I wasn’t going to school because I was getting suspended for not wearing a mask,” Fiona said at the event.

Attendees in the crowd shouted, “We love you!” and one man yelled, “Baby girl, you’re smarter than half the country!”

The Biden administration finalized a mandate earlier in November requiring workers in businesses with 100 or more employees to either get vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. The federal agency that issued the rule suspended enforcement following a court order.

Fox News’ Matt Leach contributed to this report.

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