“It is absolutely disgusting and immoral that anyone would take vaccines intended for nursing home residents to distribute them to their friends,” Sen. Rick Scott said in a statement. | AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Sen. Rick Scott on Thursday called for a congressional investigation into what he called “vaccine distribution mismanagement,” following multiple reports that a West Palm Beach nursing home and assisted-living facility steered highly sought after vaccine shots to its board members and major donors.
Gov. Ron DeSantis already has been under fire for the bumpy rollout of vaccinations in Florida due to the Republican governor’s insistence that those 65 or older be among the first to get inoculated with one of the Covid-19 vaccines. The state has roughly 4.4 million older residents.
But Scott’s decision to wade into the controversy, even in a limited fashion, marks yet another instance in which the former Florida governor and his successor in Tallahassee have taken shots — some of them subtle, some of them not so subtle — at each other. Both Republicans are viewed as potential presidential candidates in 2024.
News organizations, including The Washington Post, have reported that MorseLife Health System offered vaccine doses to residents and staff of the facility as well as members of its board and wealthy donors. The news broke amid vivid images of senior citizens across the state waiting in long lines — sometimes overnight — to get a vaccine. Registration websites and phone lines have been jammed, prompting the DeSantis administration to scramble to expand access, including setting up distribution sites at a Miami Gardens football stadium and in Publix grocery stores in north Central Florida.
“It is absolutely disgusting and immoral that anyone would take vaccines intended for nursing home residents to distribute them to their friends,” Scott said in a statement. “This type of gross mismanagement will not be tolerated,