MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Governor Ron DeSantis has fired back at Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez's accusations that he is playing politics with vaccine distribution.
Hernandez said Hialeah paramedics and medical facilities are ready to vaccinate seniors but have not been provided with vaccines.
"There's been arguments that Hialeah has not received these vaccines because there's a problem with me and the governor. I don't have a problem with the governor. How can I have a problem with a person I have not seen since the beginning of the coronavirus issue. A person that's been disappearing from this community?" said Mayor Hernandez.
"We are the 5th largest city in the state of Florida and the one most affected and we have no communication and no help whatsoever from the Governor or his office," Hernadez added.
"It's actually false," said DeSantis said Thursday during a press conference in the panhandle. "I've been working with Senator Manny Diaz who represents that area. Manny asked if there's any type of pod that could be done in Hialeah and we said we'd be absolutely willing to work with them. Just understand, there's not singling out any county, we've sent a lot to Miami-Dade County, they're trying to get it out, the hospital systems like Jackson, they've done a lot of vaccines, they're doing a good job. And then we have a drive-thru site at Hard Rock Stadium that does a thousand shots a day. So Miami, they've had more shots than anybody in the state and they've had a pretty high percentage of per capita as well and we are going to continue to do it."
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DeSantis said in distributing the vaccine, the state is not singling out any city or county.
"We have the new doses coming in and you'll see more go to Jackson and we are talking about working with Senator Diaz and we are happy to do that. We have a great community in Hialeah, we want to be helpful if we can but we have not at the state said don't give it or give it to anyone, we want everyone to have vaccines," he said.
Hernandez sent letters to both Florida Senators and Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart asking for help.
Senator Diaz-Balart's office said in a statement, "We are more than eager to work with the City of Hialeah and the State of Florida to help the residents of Hialeah."
Senator Marco Rubio's office pointed out that he "...led the Florida delegation in requesting additional vaccines from Operation Warp Speed officials."
Hernandez said, "If I could get those vaccines, give me 100,000 and I'll show you how quickly we can do it in Hialeah."
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