Over the weekend, Trump-loving Florida Governor Ron DeSantis found himself in hot water after Democratic Representative Charlie Crist penned a scathing letter to acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson in which he called on the United States Department of Justice to open an investigation into the Republican governor regarding allegations that DeSantis was selecting coronavirus vaccine administration sites based on the benefit they would produce for his political supporters.
“I write with concern about reports that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is establishing coronavirus vaccine distribution and administration sites to select locations to benefit political allies and donors, over the needs of higher risk communities and existing county waitlists,” Crist penned in the letter.
“In several cases, these sites seem to be targeted to wealthy communities with whom Governor DeSantis has clear political connections, allowing some to skip to the front of the line in counties with existing waitlists,” the Democratic Rep. stated.
Crist went on to site a surprise announcement made by DeSantis on the 17th of this month, stating that 3,000 doses of the coveted COVID-19 would soon be available to the wealthy community of Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County.
Crist says the parent company of the well-off community is actually owned by a Republican donor who has given a staggering $900,000 to DeSantis. Crist also notes that the community had lower infection rates of the virus within the county.
Why is Governor DeSantis playing politics with vaccine distribution? His political allies & donors should not get to skip the line. Calling for full DOJ investigation. pic.twitter.com/OTjpkdD1o4
— Congressman Charlie Crist (@RepCharlieCrist) February 21, 2021
Crist formerly served as governor of the state of Florida himself and earlier this month he did not rule out a potential challenge to DeSantis’ position next year.
Crist is not the first lawmaker to criticize the seemingly unfair and inequitable way that vaccines are being distributed, as wealthy communities continually appear to be prioritized over disadvantaged areas with higher infection rates.
DeSantis, of course, has already fired back at the criticism and allegations lodged against him and his vaccination distribution plan, only serving to earn himself even further blowback after he literally threatened to divert the lifesaving vaccines away from areas that have dared to criticize him.
“If there’s going to be folks that are going to complain about getting more vaccines, you know, I’ll tell you what, I mean, I wouldn’t be complaining, I’d be thankful that we’re able to do it because, you know what, we didn’t need to do this at all,” the GOP governor said last week.
In addition to the sketchy vaccine distribution, DeSantis has also been accused of being far too lax with COVID-19 guidelines meant to reduce the spread of the potentially fatal virus.
“Defeating the COVID-19 pandemic must be our top priority. Given the enormous latitude Governors have over vaccine distribution, it would be unconscionable for political corruption to trump both fairness and the best medical guidance,” Crist wrote in the letter. “These are literally life and death decisions. While I am anxious for every Floridian, in every community, to get the vaccine as soon as possible, it should be done based on fairness, not political connection.”
The precedent set by Donald Trump is a dangerous one, as GOP nutjobs in positions of power have now decided that they can run their government based solely on who likes them and who doesn’t.