The Florida Vaccine Hunger Games, Brought to you by Ron DeSantis

At exactly the moment when President Biden was announcing that his administration was going to prioritize teachers a few weeks ago and I was tweeting that it was a great decision, and I could stay at home for another month–I got a text from the Mayo Clinic that I was eligible for a vaccination on March 6. I checked with the spousal unit; he had not received a corollary text. But all the advice we have seen is aligned: when it’s your turn, just go. So I made the appointment and had my first shot on the 6th. But it bugged me that I was protected when my partner of 40 years was not. ( And yes, I was a child bride)

So I trolled my usual on-line haunts, and heard advice to show up at a FEMA site around 3pm to see if there were unused doses, so we did that on the 7th. Specifically, we went to the Gateway site in Jacksonville. He had to answer a couple of not very specific questions. He rounded his age up by a couple of months, and when asked if he was a caretaker, cited me as his caretakee. Okay, sure. There was a lot of winking and nodding going on, because the FEMA and Naval personnel at this facility are trying to get shots into arms, rather than trying to soothe the ego of the Governor. Good for them.

It worked out great for us, and we have recommended it to lots of folks. But the determination of Governor DeSantis to NOT have a statewide policy because to do so would somehow annoy his idol is incredibly dangerous.

There are places where he is pretty obviously selling doses to the highest bidder

Also this one

It’s not an especially good look, though honestly, it’s a little surprising they weren’t doling them out at the Halfway House a Mar-a-Logo.

There are other counties where it’s just a hot mess, like our own, special DUUVAL, to wit:

Edward Waters College is Jacksonville’s HBCU, so what was happening at this site was that viable doses were being pitched when unvaccinated Black faculty and students were walking around, available to be collared for a few minutes so that the State could maybe save their lives. The State and the healthcare system that administer this site have denied this, but @Speed4Jax is known to us. He spent the rest of the day rounding up eligible folks to get vaccinated, and he heard what he heard.

Florida has managed to vaccinate most of its seniors because that’s who the Governor thinks votes for him–Congrats!! But he’s put off lowering the age even though it is clear that most large facilities have excess capacity and no way to figure out how to prioritize the general public

And today, March 24, State Rep Omari Hardy divulged that health officials in Miami have disclosed to him that they were given a “verbal directive” from someone on the Governor’s staff to not vaccinate anyone in the local or County Jails.

To be clear, many of these folks have not been adjudicated, they are being held for trial because they are too poor to pay their bail. Many are likely being held for low-level drug offenses. And they cannot be vaccinated even if they meet age or co-morbidity requirements.

All of this governing by failure to govern as the new Republican playbook is just exhausting, and they somehow intend to run on it. It’s not exhausting for them–they read children’s books on the floor of the House of Representatives. But DeSantis thinks he’s the next Republican Presidential Candidate on the strength of having not shut down the one state where it didn’t snow in 2021. He’s the human Frat Paddle of being born on third base and thinking you hit a home run.

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