Wealthy Florida community got vaccines before anyone else — then the governor got a $250k donation

Wealthy Florida community got vaccines before anyone else — then the governor got a $250k donation
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, right, speaks with members of Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., leadership during the governor's first visit to the base since becoming governor, Jan. 16, 2019. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Solomon Cook)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may have scored big in the CPAC Straw Poll last weekend, but his citizens aren't likely to appreciate wealthy communities being able to jump the line for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that Florida's elderly are still struggling to sign up to get their first dose of the vaccine, but in a wealthy gated enclave in the Florida Keys, everyone was vaccinated in January.

A Jan. 22 newsletter sent to the Herald revealed that the Ocean Reef Club in north Key Largo despite the rest of the state struggling to get the vaccine, "Over the course of the last two weeks, the Medical Center has vaccinated over 1,200 homeowners who qualify under the State of Florida's Governor's current Order for those individuals who are 65 years of age or older."

"We are fortunate to have received enough vaccines to ensure both the first and second for those vaccinated," the newsletter message continued. "At this time, however, the majority of the State has not received an allocation of first doses of vaccines for this week and beyond, and the timing of any subsequent deliveries remains unclear."

The Herald questioned whether the Republican donors who live in the area are behind the decision to give quick and easy access.

"In fact, the only people from Key Largo who gave to DeSantis' political committee live in Ocean Reef," said the report. "All 17 of them had given the governor contributions of $5,000 each through December 2020, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

One donor, in particular, gave Gov. DeSantis an extra $250,000 after the area got their vaccines in mid-January.

Read the full report at the Miami Herald.

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