THE HILL – Democratic Florida Rep. Charlie Crist sent a letter to acting U.S. Attorney General Monty Wilkinson on Sunday, calling on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to open an investigation into Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Crist’s letter alleges that the governor is selecting vaccine administration sites to benefit political supporters:
“I write with concern about reports that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is establishing coronavirus vaccine distribution and administration sites to select locations to benefit political allies and donors, over the needs of higher risk communities and existing county waitlists.”
“In several cases, these sites seem to be targeted to wealthy communities with whom Governor DeSantis has clear political connections, allowing some to skip to the front of the line in counties with existing waitlists.”
Crist pointed to a surprise announcement DeSantis made on Feb. 17 that 3,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine would be available to the wealthy community Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County.
Lakewood Ranch’s parent company is owned by a major Republican donor who has given $900,000 to DeSantis, Crist said, also noting that the area had lower COVID-19 infection rates within the county.
Crist is himself a former governor of Florida and earlier this month did not rule out challenging DeSantis in 2022.
Many lawmakers and commentators have decried the seeming inequitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines, with wealthier areas appearing to be prioritized over disadvantaged communities …
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State rep also blasts DeSantis over vaccine inequality
‘This is not the time to score political points while people are dying.’
Jacob Ogles | Feb 18, 2021
FLORIDA POLITICS – Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby blasted Gov. Ron DeSantis after he announced a boost in vaccines for Manatee County, but not for any of her constituents.
“Governor DeSantis has made a choice to prioritize affluent neighborhoods in Manatee County over our underserved populations knowing the numbers are criminally low when it comes to equitable distribution of this vaccine,” the St. Petersburg Democrat said.
“Today, DeSantis doubled down on his decision and added that efforts would go to areas where his leadership isn’t being criticized.”
“This is not the time to score political points while people are dying. It is time to take a sobering look at the numbers that have been released and act accordingly to bring aid to all Floridians.”
Rayner’s House District 70 covers largely minority communities within Manatee and not the two Lakewood Ranch ZIP codes served at a site announced by DeSantis earlier this week.
Within Manatee County, 28.1% of the residents, or more than 113,000 people, are older than 65, according to the most recent Census estimates.
Meanwhile, 86% of county residents are White, 9.3% are Black and 16.9% are Hispanic … Read more.