In retaliation, the Florida governor threatens to withdraw the COVID vaccinations from counties that oppose the state rollout.
He is trying to get open.
On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis threatened to withhold or move vaccine against meningitis C, the meningitis B vaccine, or both, from counties that have spoken out against the state's vaccine distribution plan.
Following his critics, Desantis allotted 3,000 additional vaccinations for affluent areas in west Florida, including a planned community owned by one of his campaign donors, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
Two large ZIP codes in Manatee County that include large parts of Lakewood Ranch, a planned community about 40 miles south of Tampa, received an unallocated incentive allocation of free vaccinations.
In answer to a question, DeSantis said, “If Manatee County disapproves of us doing this, we are totally fine putting it in counties that want it.” “Let us know if anyone is saying that.”
According to the Bradenton Herald, several Manatee County commissioners blamed DeSantis for reserving the vaccines for two of the county's richest ZIP codes. In contrast, both ZIP codes in the eastern part of the county have seen less destruction due to the pandemic.
The pop-up clinic was located in Lakewood Ranch, which has a median yearly household income of $90,000, according to the Herald. Per day from Wednesday to Friday, 1,000 people were supposed to receive a vaccination at the vaccination site.
Commissioner Misty Servia said at a Tuesday meeting, the Herald wrote, “You're prioritizing the whitest demographic, the wealthiest demographic in Manatee County, and putting them ahead of everyone else.”
Many senior citizens in Manatee County use a lottery to get vaccines. That system will continue through the week, unassociated with the additional vaccinations that are being administered in Lakewood Ranch.
At the same meeting, commissioner Reggie Bellamy said, “I've been fighting like hell to show the public that the lottery is equal, and now someone is telling me we were able to pull a certain demographic out.”
The Uihlein family owns Lakewood Ranch. According to public filings, Dick Uihlein contributed $900,000 to DeSantis's campaign in 2018 and 2019. Lakewood Ranch officials maintain that Richard does not own the community, but the exact breakdown of a family ownership is unclear, as stated by the Sun Sentinel.
DeSantis contrasted the clinic to other pop-up clinics that the state has set up in senior-heavy areas, as reported by the Sun Sentinel. He listed similar sites in Palm Beach County, Hillsborough, and The Villages, a retirement community of nearly 100,000 people.
According to Centers for Disease Control results, over 1.1 million Floridians have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to achieve immunity. About 1.3 million more people in the state of 21 million have already received the first dose.