Florida Governor Ron DeSantis faces criticism over COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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In Manatee County, Florida, this week, hundreds of individuals obtained known as to return to the prosperous Lakewood Ranch growth and get a coronavirus vaccine. It was a name many had been ready for.

“We were very fortunate, we got the call, we came right down,” one girl advised CBS News’ Jim Axelrod.

It was greater than luck. Those who acquired the decision all lived in two particular zip codes. Their doses got here via a deal struck by Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and the CEO of Lakewood Ranch’s mum or dad company, owned by main Republican donors.

Manatee County Commissioner Misty Servia stated in a county meeting that the deal bypassed county protocol, permitting a choose group of residents to go the entrance of the vaccine line.

“So rather than this randomized pool where everybody gets a fair shake, these two zip codes were going to receive preferential treatment,” she stated.

At a county meeting, Servia, who can also be a Republican, advised the room that the optics are horrible.

The zip codes are two of the county’s wealthiest and whitest, and so they’re within the backside half of COVID-19 charges countywide.

“It’s just wrong. I mean, that’s the bottom line,” stated Patrick Carnegie stated, who runs MCR Health, the area’s largest major care supplier, which has been helping in administrating COVID-19 vaccines.

“We want to make sure that the process is done fair, and it’s done, you know, equitably across the board,” he stated.

According to Florida state guidance, long-term care facility residents and employees, healthcare staff in direct contact with COVID-19 sufferers, together with paramedics and EMS, and folks age 65 and older are eligible to get vaccinated.  

DeSantis stated on Wednesday he was attempting to get the vaccine to a excessive focus of seniors. But in a county stuffed with seniors, he by no means defined why the doses have been restricted to only this group. He threatened to take the photographs elsewhere.

“If Manatee County doesn’t like us doing this, then we are totally fine with putting this in counties that want it. We’re totally happy to do that,” DeSantis stated.

The governor can also be below scrutiny for choosing the grocery store chain, Publix, to be the only distributor of vaccines in a handful of Florida counties following a $100,000 donation the company made to DeSantis’ reelection PAC.

Servia is now going through criticism from her personal social gathering, saying she needs to be “ashamed” that she “took a page out of the Biden playbook in attacking Florida and … Governor DeSantis.”

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