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A Florida Republican candidate is denied access to a televised debate over vaccinations

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Republican congressional candidates in Central Florida were denied entry to a TV studio on Thursday after a Central Florida TV station canceled a political debate over their vaccination records. The Florida GOP filed a complaint asking the state's health department to investigate.

Republican Scotty Moore was denied entry because of WESH-2's "debate rules and vaccine requirements" the day after the debate was canceled.

“The decision by WESH-2 News to cancel the Congressional District 9 debate because of a candidate’s vaccination status is discriminatory, unlawful, and will not be ignored,” Florida GOP said in a statement.

Benjamin J. Gibson, a lawyer for Florida GOP, says this is in violation of section 381.00316 of the Florida Statutes, which states, in part, that a business entity “may not require patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination.”

“We ask that you immediately investigate WESH-2’s COVID policy, and if it is found to be in violation of Florida law, take appropriate action,” Gibson said in a letter to Florida Department of Health General Counsel John Wilson.

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On Sept. 8, WESH-2, a local television station owned by Hearst Television located in Central Florida, invited the Republican candidate for Florida's district nine and his opponent to participate in a congressional candidate debate at its Winter Park television studios.

16 September 2022


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