Florida Governor Ron DeSantis boasted Wednesday that he would not be taking the COVID-19 vaccine, as massive lines of elderly folk formed outside vaccine sites after he opened access to the vaccine to all people aged over 65.
Fans of the governor applauded the remarks, which come after DeSantis shared that there were 175,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccines in the state.
‘I’m willing to take it, but I am not the priority, they’re the priority. I’m under 45,’ he said, Fox News reports. ‘People under 45 are not going to be first in line for this, so when it’s my turn, I will take it.’
‘I want my parents, our grandparents to be able to get it,’ he continued. ‘I’m an elected official but whoopie-doo, at the end of the day let’s focus where the risk is.’
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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday that he would not be taking the COVID-19 vaccine
Cape Coral residents wait in line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday morning, Dec. 30, 2020 during first day of vaccinations in the city at Cultural Park Theater
In the United States, Florida has the largest share of people over the age of 65 at 20.1 percent, according to the US Census Bureau. The Independent reports that last year, there were an estimated 4.5million people aged over 65 that lived in the state.
DeSantis’ remarks comes as he has placed emphasis on elderly folk getting access to the limited supply of vaccines. Florida currently has more than 1.3million people testing positive with the virus and more than 21,000 people have died.
‘If you have somebody that works for a grocery store or food services that may be 22, they would have priority over someone who is 73,’ Mr DeSantis said of the CDC guidelines, WBTV reported. ‘If you are over 65, you will get access. It may not be today or next week but as long as there is supply you will have the opportunity to get them.’
Friends Terri Kado,66, right and Patty Tubbs,68, from Fort Myers Beach wait in line in the early morning hours of Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at Lakes Park Regional Library in Fort Myers, Florida to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
Cape Coral residents wait in line to receive a COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday morning
But local reporters have shared horrific stories of seniors having to endure long lines in an attempt to get access to the vaccine.
Rebecca Jarvis, an ABC News Business correspondent, shared on Twitter that her parents and other elderly people in SW Florida were experiencing a ‘disgrace’ of a vaccine rollout.
‘In Lee County Florida, where vaccines started as first come/first served for seniors Monday, hundreds of people in 70s & 80s slept in lawn chairs, lined up outside vaccine sites,’ she said in the two-day thread that started on Tuesday.
Rebecca Jarvis, an ABC News Business correspondent, shared on Twitter that her parents and other elderly people in SW Florida were experiencing a ‘disgrace’ of a vaccine rollout
Jarvis shared that one family friend, a woman in her 80s, described her vaccine site as a ‘superspreader’ event because so many people were crammed together – with many not wearing masks. The woman had been waiting since 4.30am that morning while others had been waiting overnight.
‘After hours of waiting, she left because she felt her risk of getting COVID there was higher than yet chances of getting vaccinated,’ Jarvis added.
She continued: ‘Seniors are being told to show up at Lee County vaccination sites with warm clothes, blankets, water and their medications given how long the wait times will be.
Jarvis shared grabs of the local health departments, showing how difficult it was to find any tangible information for vaccine rollout.
Jarvis shared grabs of the local health departments, showing how difficult it was to find any tangible information for vaccine rollout
‘You’d think for an event that’s been in the works for months, every local health department would have a giant, clearly labeled, front page message on their website telling people who’s eligible, where to go, and when,’ she said. ‘Especially when first recipients are in 70s & 80s.’
The correspondent would share Wednesday that ‘hundreds of seniors camped out overnight again.’
Jarvis stated: ‘As of 6:30 a.m. today (Wednesday) all three vaccination sites in Lee County, Florida have hit capacity, according to DOH-Lee.’
Seniors stand in line to make an appointment to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine outside the King’s Point clubhouse in Delray Beach, Florida on December 30
Tom, 69, and Judy Barrett, 67, from Marco Island wait in line in the early morning hours of Wednesday, December 30, 2020 at Lakes Park Regional Library in Fort Myers, Florida to recieve the COVID-19 vaccine. At 6:00 a.m. the line stretched from the library to Gladiolus and Bass Road and then down to do A & W Bulb road and beyond