DeSantis threatens to vaccinate solely wealthy white Floridians, whereas solely wealthy white …
DeSantis did not apologize or acknowledge the disproportionate number of vaccine appointments the wealthy had access to. Instead, he defended his decision, claiming that “it wasn’t a choice for zip codes,” but where seniors were. “When there will be people complaining about more vaccines […] I mean, I wouldn’t complain, ”he said. “I would be grateful that we can because we don’t need it at all.”
He also claimed that the cans distributed at the site were in addition to the cans already allocated to the county, but the local Democrats did not buy them. DeSantis “needs to stop making politics about vaccine distribution here in Florida,” Florida Democratic Party chairman Manny Diaz said in a statement. “It is shameful and inhumane to threaten retaliation and reduced access to vaccines for communities that criticize vaccine adoption because of its problems.”
The vaccination point was announced on Tuesday for 3,000 residents of Manatee County. According to The Washington PostAt least 180,000 residents of the county south of Tampa signed up for the vaccine but were unable to access it due to the limited supply. Although the vaccination clinic was advertised as a district initiative, it was limited to people living in only two zip codes: 34202 and 34211.
Local legislators from both the Republican and Democratic parties have criticized the move as these two zip codes represented the wealthiest parishes in the county. Additionally, zip codes only make up 8% of the 30,557 confirmed coronavirus cases in Manatee County. One of the communities that will have access to the additional vaccines is a proposed community owned by the family of one of DeSantis’ donors. the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.
“We have people struggling with the virus. If we did choose, I would hope it will benefit the underserved populations and neighborhoods. ” Misty Servia, Manatee County Commissioner said at a meeting on Tuesday. “They’re taking the whitest population, the richest population in Manatee County, and putting them ahead of everyone else,” she added.
Another commissioner, Reggie Bellamy, noted that the system cannot be compromised and that officials like him “fought like hell to show people that the (vaccination) lottery is the same … And now suddenly someone is telling me that we could go in and pull out names – pull out a particular demographic – and say, “These are the people we’re going to serve,” he said.
Local lawmakers aren’t the only ones criticizing DeSantis and his clearly political move, however.
Democratic State Senator Annette Taddeo said: “It is disgusting and unacceptable for the governor to politicize life-saving vaccines. The governor owes the residents of Manatee an apology and a public statement assuring the public that political games are being held not be used for vaccine distribution. ” in our state. Period, “she added in a statement.
US Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz also made a statement to the South Florida Sun Sentinel on DeSantis’ decision to favor his political supporters. “To threaten that he would pull a vaccine if people don’t like the way the distribution system works is abhorrent and shows the stubborn indifference he had about how the vaccine was used,” Schultz said Wednesday.
According to this report, Florida has reported more than 1.8 million COVID-19 infections and nearly 30,000 deaths, according to data NBC News. The state has one of the highest rates of infection. Even so, DeSantis continues to ignore efforts to stop the virus from spreading.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data states more than 1.1 million Florida residents received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, while another 1.3 million in the state, 21 million received their first dose. Access to the vaccine shouldn’t depend on which political party you follow or who you support. DeSantis needs to stop playing political games to advance his career.