Apparently just for political points, Gov. Ron DeSantis pressured the Special Olympics to withdraw its vaccine requirement. The state of Florida threatened the Special Olympics with a $27.5 fine if the Olympics were to persist with its vaccine requirement. Special Olympics then withdrew its vaccine requirement. See Politico news report.

This is a remarkable occurrence. Persons with disabilities have much lower levels of immunity than the non-disabled population. Persons with intellectual disabilities (aka “mentally retarded”) for reasons still not understood generally have suppressed immune systems. See Univ. of Hertforshire report here. Persons with Down’s Syndrome routinely suffer from serious illnesses, such as pneumonia, other respiratory infections and gastrointestinal infections. This is especially true of younger persons with Down’s Syndrome. And, it is those younger people with their families who attend the Special Olympics in large numbers.

Persons with intellectual disabilities are three times more likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease, strokes and cancer. Gov. DeSantis’ very political decision is remarkably cold and selfish. He offered no medical rationale, other than claiming that “most” people have contracted the covid19 virus by now. But, that rationale does not address the fact that persons with disabilities are a particularly vulnerable population.