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Florida Department of Health confirms Dr. Raul Pino put on leave for encouraging Orange County Department of Health employees to get vaccinated

Orange County's Dr. Raul Pino and Mayor Jerry Demings brief the media Monday as the county's cases and positivity rate continue to climb. Photo: Orange County

The Florida  Department of Health Medical Director that oversees areas of Orange County including Orlando has been put on leave for encouraging his own staff to get vaccinated. Orange County Medical Director Dr. Raul Pino wrote an email to staff on Jan. 4th encouraging them to get vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19.In it he wrote, “I have a hard time understanding how we can be in public health and not practice it.”After sending the email he was placed on administrative leave.

In an email to WMFE, the Florida Department of Health has confirmed Pino was put on leave because, “the decision to get vaccinated is a personal choice that should be free from coercion and mandates from employers.”

Florida DOH says it’s even conducting an inquiry into whether any laws were broken by sending the email.

Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has banned vaccine mandates in the workplace, and the state has seen a surge in Omicron cases.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »