CNN reported on Wednesday that Florida, under the leadership of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), is “bucking” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations by prioritizing seniors in its distribution of the limited supply of coronavirus vaccines.
“Florida, one of the states bucking CDC recommendations and vaccinating seniors ahead of some frontline workers. It’s a massive undertaking, and Ryan Young is OutFront,” host Bianna Golodryga said in a tease on Wednesday’s show:
“This bumper to bumper traffic jam twists around the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. A line so long, drivers have more than enough time to get out and stretch,” Young, CNN’s national correspondent, reported, detailing anxious seniors across the state who had been waiting in line for “hours.”
“Because Florida has one of the population over the age of 65, Gov. DeSantis decided to break slightly with CDC recommendations which call for frontline health care workers and first responders to be vaccinated first,” Young said, repeating Golodryga. However, he noted that they witnessed a “remarkable change” in operations from the day prior, indicating that the process was running more smoothly.
“Cars are wrapped around the block. Now, seniors get the shot here, then they travel over to this parking lot over here where they have to sit and wait for 15 to 30 minutes to make sure they don’t have an adverse reaction,” he said.
DeSantis detailed the state’s vaccine distribution plan during a press conference in Delray Beach, Florida, on Wednesday, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing seniors.
“There was a recommendation from the CDC that you [vaccinate] so-called essential workers. What’s essential?” the governor asked, questioning the CDC’s definition of “essential” workers.
“There’s a lot of people who work really hard that the CDC doesn’t consider essential, but their family considers them essential. I consider them essential,” he said, noting that the recommendation could “be putting young people ahead of our elderly population.”
“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,” DeSantis noted.
The Republican governor and Trump ally added that he will personally not jump ahead of seniors and receive the vaccine, as he is not in a vulnerable group.
“I’m willing to take it, but I am not the priority. They’re the priority,” he said. “I’m under 45, and so the people under 45 are not going to be first in line for this.”
“And so when it’s my turn, I will take it but this is who I want to be vaccinated,” he explained, adding that he wants “my parents, our grandparents to be able to get it.”
“Granted, I’m an elected official but whoop de doo. Let’s focus on where the risk is,” he added:
Governor Ron DeSantis asked if he has had the vaccine.
“Granted I’m an elected official but whoop dee doo”
focusing the vaccines for seniors. pic.twitter.com/Mw7fgt0pWx
— Showcase of Wishes (@ShowcaseWishes) December 30, 2020
Over 176,000 people in Florida received the first dose of the vaccine, according to a Wednesday update from the CDC, although 783,600 vaccines have been distributed statewide.