Democrats call for vaccine investigation

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 8:53 PM CST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The governor is pushing back against a Miami Herald story detailing how his political action committee ‘Friends of Ron DeSantis’ received a quarter-million-dollar contribution a month after vaccines were made available to a wealthy community in the Keys.

Florida’s lone statewide elected Democrat wants the FBI to investigate.

In late January, the Ocean Reef Community in Key Largo was offered shots by Baptist Hospital.

A month later, Bruce Rauner, a former Illinois governor and Ocean Reef resident sent the governor’s political action committee a $250,000 check.

The governor Thursday said his office had nothing to do with setting up the site.

“In the initial three or four weeks, as you remember, the hospitals were getting the lion’s share of the vaccine,” said DeSantis.

But he added he was glad the hospital stepped up.

“If you are 65 and up, I’m not worried about your income bracket. I’m worried about your age bracket,” said DeSantis.

Hours later, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried called on the FBI to investigate.

“If this isn’t public corruption, I don’t know what is. I know that we will get to the bottom of this. So, I am asking the FBI Public Corruption Unit to be investigating this,” said Fried.

We asked Fried if she had proof of a quid-pro-quo. She instead answered, “The fact is this is time and time again. This isn’t just one example. That there has now been a pattern of these examples have been occurring since these vaccines started to roll out.”

The governor called the original Miami Herald story a train wreck.

“That article was just flat wrong. And I don’t know, do you even know if he has been vaccinated? Do you know? Okay, so literally they are just trying to indulge in conspiracy theories,” said DeSantis.

Fried is the second Democrat, after Congressman Charlie Crist, to call for an investigation.

Late Thursday afternoon, a third Democrat, State Senate Democratic leader Gary Farmer, wrote prosecutors asking for an investigation.

Both Fried and Crist are considered likely candidates for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2022.

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