‘Relieved:’ Disney cast member reacts to pause of COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Decision follows special legislative session banning requiring vaccine

Disney pauses vaccine mandate punishments

BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Months after coming out with one of the most sweeping COVID-19 vaccine mandates in Florida, Disney now says the penalties for not complying are on pause.

Nick Caturano, a 16-year cast member, said he got the news in an email sent out Friday.

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That was one day after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed four new bills into law banning governments and agencies from requiring vaccines and threatening big fines for companies that don’t allow an opt out.

‘’I feel relieved. I feel grateful,’’ Caturano responded.

Caturano said he was defending freedom when he previously organized protests against the Disney mandate

‘’I’m more worried about everybody else than myself and I’m happy to see that all the people that were anxious, especially around the holidays, got that pressure off their back, that monkey off their back, and they’re going to be able to keep their jobs,’’ he said.

Caturano said his email also reads that Disney is pausing its mandate because of OSHA suspending its enforcement of federal mandates for employers.

Disney’s response to News 6 Saturday did not address the results of the special session.

“We believe that our approach to mandatory vaccines has been the right one as we’ve continued to focus on the safety and well-being of our Cast Members and Guests, and at this point, more than 90 percent of active Florida-based Cast Members have already verified that they are fully vaccinated. We will address legal developments as appropriate,” the Disney statement read.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.