Florida’s agriculture commissioner on Monday called for a congressional investigation into Gov. Ron DeSantis over “alleged political favoritism” in his state’s distribution of Covid-19 vaccine doses.
Nikki Fried, the state’s Democratic agriculture commissioner, noted that at least three “pop-up” vaccination sites have been “organized in wealthy communities affiliated with donors to the governor’s political campaigns.”
Despite handling the pandemic more effectively than any blue state governor and prioritizing vaccinations for elderly populations, Democrats want to launch an investigation into his handling of the vaccine rollout.
Fried, who’s long been a critic of DeSantis, asked Congress to investigate in a letter sent Monday morning to Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., chairman of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, and Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., its ranking Republican member.
“My office has received frequent complaints regarding the unequal distribution of vaccines,” Fried wrote in the letter, which was obtained by CNBC. She went on to accuse DeSantis of “inept distribution of vaccines at best, and corrupt political patronage at worst.”
Fried also sent a letter to DeSantis on Monday morning, asking him to suspend Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh from public office. Baugh, Fried wrote, is under investigation for allegedly “placing herself, friends and family on a VIP vaccine list.” Baugh also selected her district, two wealthy ZIP codes, to receive additional vaccine doses from the state, Fried wrote.
“As reported by multiple news outlets, the Governor is setting up ‘pop-up’ vaccination sites to deliver doses to select communities,” Crist, another longtime DeSantis critic, wrote. “The ZIP codes in question have the highest income levels and lowest COVID infection rates in the county.”
Republican Congressman Steve Scalise released a statement.
“Democrats’ approach to the pandemic is all about following politics, not the science. Governor DeSantis is rightly prioritizing seniors for vaccination since they are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, but Democrats shamefully slander his efforts because they only see the pandemic through the lens of politics. Governor DeSantis’ efforts led to almost 50 percent of all Florida seniors to be vaccinated,” Scalise released in a statement.
“Unfortunately, this is part of the Democrats’ broader smear campaign to villainize Republican governors like DeSantis who are following the science during the pandemic by keeping their economies open and prioritizing seniors’ safety. At the same time, Democrats are bailing out governors who continue to fail to save jobs, reopen schools, and distribute the vaccine to the most vulnerable. Many Democrat governors have made terrible, unscientific decisions that led to higher death and unemployment rates within their states. We urge Select Subcommittee Democrats to investigate Governor Cuomo, who purposefully put seniors in danger, instead of governors like DeSantis who chose to prioritize senior safety,” he continued.
This is an excerpt from TownHall.
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