Florida Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist is now calling for a federal investigation from the Department of Justice into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican and close Trump ally. Crist wants federal authorities to examine DeSantis’s apparent prioritization of politically allied individuals in the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Florida. In one example that Crist noted in his letter, the Lakewood Ranch community in Manatee County was allocated 3,000 vaccine doses, allowing residents to skip past procedures in place from local authorities. The parent company for Lakewood Ranch is owned by a high-dollar GOP donor who has donated a whopping $900,000 to DeSantis.
Crist wrote that he was contacting the Department of Justice to express “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.” Several sites, Crist noted, “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.”
Crist added as follows:
‘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. 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 don based on fairness, not political connection.’
Check out his full letter to acting Attorney General Monty Wilkinson below:
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
DeSantis recently responded to criticism of his administration’s work on vaccine distribution by petulantly threatening to move vaccine resources entirely rather than moving to open them up to more individuals. Playing politics with potentially life-saving vaccines is absolutely ghoulish — but it’s right in line with expected behavior from a Trump ally like Ron DeSantis, considering the ex-president’s own actions. At one point, for instance, Trump complained that so-called blue states were responsible for most of the death toll, as if this supposed fact meant that the crisis wasn’t so serious after all. Americans live in blue states just like they live in so-called red states! Politicizing the crisis in this fashion is appalling.