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Florida county commissioner limited vaccine drive to the two richest zip codes and then created a 'VIP list'

February 18, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 20.9%. 1 min read.

A Manatee County, Florida, commissioner broke protocol for equitable vaccine distribution, which she had previously voted in favor of, when planning a vaccine drive initiated by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In a public county commissioner meeting on Thursday, Baugh apologized for the criticism regarding the "pop-up" vaccination site, but said that if presented with the opportunity again, "I will do exactly what I did this time. " Baugh further explained that she "did exactly what (DeSantis) wanted" in organizing the vaccine drive.

On Tuesday, in another public county commissioner meeting, Baugh said that the vaccine drive was initiated by DeSantis, a Republican, and involved real estate developer Rex Jensen.

One of the emails obtained by CNN through a public records request states that Baugh asked county workers to pull a list of potential vaccine recipients from only two zip codes, who would then participate in the state-sponsored vaccine drive.

"Commissioner Baugh has asked we pull a list of those in the vaccine waiting pool that have listed 34202 and 34211 as their residence," Manatee County Public Safety Director Jacob Saur wrote on February 12.

In a Tuesday public county commissioner meeting, County Administrator Cheri Coryea confirmed that in the planning for the governor's pop-up drive, she told Baugh that they should use the random pool and not pick and choose people by zip codes.

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