Across the country, Republicans and Democrats have been divided regarding the COVID-19 response. While Governors like Gavin Newsom (D) and Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) have received overwhelming criticism over their controversial responses to the pandemic, which has resulted in Newsom facing a recall, Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has also challenged numerous claims from Florida Democrats. One critic has been Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) who directed verbal jabs over Twitter, asking for Governor DeSantis to "make an earnest effort" to ensure that vaccines are accessible to minority communities.
Across Florida, clear race and income divides exist in vaccine accessibility. Meanwhile, Tallahassee dawdles and distracts with pointless messaging bills. @GovRonDeSantis: make an earnest effort to vaccinate people of color and end this crisis already.https://t.co/bi6eO8cE6H
— Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) April 26, 2021
Over social media, Wasserman Schultz argued that “across Florida, clear race and income divides exist in vaccine accessibility.” Instead of responding to the concern, “Tallahassee dawdles and distracts with pointless messaging bills,” she added, pointing to HB1 and SB90 that have received vehement opposition from Florida Democrats. Finally, she called on DeSantis to “make an earnest effort to vaccinate people of color and end this crisis already.”
Earlier this year, in highlighting his “Seniors First” agenda, DeSantis announced that vaccine sites would be opened in six underserved minority communities in the state. He held a press conference to make the announcement at Edward Waters College, which is a historically black college located in Jacksonville. The college had a vaccine site along with another historically black college, Florida A&M University located in Tallahassee. As well, Broward College and community college centers in Osceola and Miami-Dade county also received vaccination sites.
Though Florida Democrats have been at odds with Florida Republicans, DeSantis has received support from across the aisle as Bill Maher, a political commentator and comedian, recently praised the Florida Governor while slamming Governor Cuomo.
Calling DeSantis a "consumer of the scientific literature," Maher added that "maybe that’s why he protected his most vulnerable population, the elderly, way better than did the governor of New York."