Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has faced criticism from Florida Democrats over his vaccine plan. This week, Florida Rep. Ted Deutch (D) unloaded on the sunshine state Governor, saying that DeSantis has paid more attention to holding press conferences than to actually implementing a plan to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine to Floridians. This comes after Florida reported 13,871 new coronavirus cases, which is the highest number of cases in a day that have been reported since July 16. As well, the deaths in Florida are now reaching close to 22,000.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) directed a letter to Governor DeSantis, questioning why more than 1.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been received but “only 146,160 vaccine doses have been administered – just 15 percent of available vaccine doses, and just 0.68 percent of Florida residents.”
Calling DeSantis’ plan “very chaotic,” Fried commented that “instead of efficient, centralized distribution management by the State of Florida, distribution has been left to hospitals and county health departments.” This, Fried argues has resulted in Floridians that “are left without answers or clear direction from overwhelmed local agencies on when, where, and how to receive the vaccine.”
In response to the criticism, Helen Aguirre (R), the RPOF Executive Director, released a statement, saying that “it’s nice to see that Commissioner Nikki Fried is taking time out of her vacation to send out an ill-informed, irresponsible letter on social media that prioritizes politics over helping Floridians who are interested in the vaccine.”
Aguirre then corrected some of the information provided by Fried in her letter, admitting that Florida has not received 1.2 million doses of the vaccine. “This number includes projected vaccine deliveries in the future and is not the actual number of doses that have been sent to Florida,” argued Aguirre.
Ultimately, Aguirre disregarded Fried’s words, expressing that Fried has only “politicized the pandemic.” She added that “if Commissioner Fried actually cared about what is happening, she would take a lesson on leadership from Governor DeSantis to help unify and coordinate resources to achieve results for Florida.”