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Democrats liken Florida vaccine distribution to ‘Wild West’

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz file photograph.
Debbie Wasserman-Schultz file photograph.(KOLO)
Published: Jan. 28, 2021 at 1:12 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Members of Florida’s Congressional delegation are calling on Gov. Ron DeSantis to release a detailed vaccination plan, likening the current distribution system to the “wild west.”

Three Democratic members of Congress — Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch and Lois Frankel — hosted a virtual press conference Thursday, calling for better coordination and more transparency.

“Every state is dealing with a shortage of vaccines, we’re aware of that, but it is no excuse for the chaos that we are seeing here in Florida,” U.S. Representative Ted Deutch said.

“People have driven across the state. They’ve waited overnight. They’ve waited for hours on phone lines. They’ve logged in to crashing websites,” U.S. Representative Deutch said. “We need a system that makes it easier for the people of Florida to simply raise their hands and say ‘I’m ready to get my vaccine’ and for them to know where to stand in line, when they can get an appointment and where they can go to get it.”

The three criticized DeSantis for failing to share an updated vaccination plan publicly since a draft was released in October. They were especially critical of what they called “failed scheduling technology” and questioned why there are so many unused doses in Florida.

“The rollout has been a mess,” U.S. Representative Lois Frankel said. “The governor may have been well intentioned when he made seniors over 65 a priority, but he did it without a realistic plan.”

U.S. Representative Frankel said there are still millions of seniors waiting for a vaccine.

“They are frightened. They are frustrated,” she said. “The Governor really needs to be saying ‘Everybody be patient. Be patient. Be patient, wear your mask and social distance.’”

“What we need is to make sure that there is a well-organized distribution process for the vaccine that is transparent and understandable by the public,” U.S. Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz said.

“This isn’t a time to beat up the Governor,” Deutch said. “We want to fix this.”

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