State Watch

Top Florida Dem says DeSantis is letting his ‘white wealthy donors’ skip the COVID-19 vaccine line

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Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) said in an interview that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis is letting his “white wealthy donors” skip the line for COVID-19 vaccines.

“What we’re seeing here in our state is that the governor is playing favoritism to his white, wealthy donors,” Fried said in a Friday interview with MSNBC.

”What’s happening is that the governor who had never had a plan on how the vaccines would be rolled out so he’s had this hodgepodge plan in place and is allowing a lot of the white, wealthy donors to get to the front of the line where all of our minorities and all of our disenfranchised communities are still waiting for the vaccine,” she added.

Fried’s accusations that DeSantis is playing favoritism with the vaccine distribution led her to ask the FBI to investigate the matter at the beginning of March.

The accusations arose after The Miami Herald reported that nearly all residents 65 and older in a wealthy enclave of Key Largo had been vaccinated for COVID-19 in January, and many of those residents had donated to DeSantis’s gubernatorial campaign.

Although all the residents were eligible for the vaccine, Fried believes that the community was given priority due to their connections.

“There’s some people who are more upset at me for vaccinating seniors than they are at other governors, whose policies have killed seniors, and that is a joke,” DeSantis said in response to The Miami Herald story.

“I’ve never seen corruption just like this,” Fried said. The alleged corruption is why she believes the FBI needs to get involved. 

But DeSantis insisted that he had no involvement in helping the community mentioned in The Herald’s story get vaccinated. 

“That was not a site that we were involved in, in the Keys,” DeSantis said. “That was one of the South Florida hospital systems [that] went to this community of seniors. I think that’s great. I want seniors to get shots, I think they did a good job of doing that. We just weren’t involved with it in any way, shape, or form.”

Tags coronavirus vaccine DeSantis Flordia Florida Republicans Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis Vaccine
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