PINELLAS PARK (CBSMiami) – Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Pinellas Park Thursday where he addressed the delay in vaccine arrival to Florida due to the winter storm that’s taken hold of much of the country.
The governor specifically referenced the tens of thousands of Moderna vaccines currently sitting in a FedEx warehouse as a result of the bad weather.READ MORE: 'Let’s All Get Healthy': MDC North Campus COVID-19 Vaccination Site Sees Steady Stream Of Those Wanting Vaccine
“The Moderna still has not shipped for this week. So, normally, those Moderna would be done today, but because of the storm we’re seeing throughout the country, it’s basically sitting in the FedEx warehouse,” he said. “I don’t even think they’re going to be able to get into because of everything. But that’s gonna happen, whether it’s the weekend, tomorrow or Sunday.”
Gov. DeSantis said the doses will be shipped out and distributed in the coming days once major roadways are safe to travel.
During his visit, the governor also announced the opening of a new pop-up vaccination site. It will be there for three days, offering 3,000 shots to seniors 65 and older.
To date, DeSantis said, 42% of the seniors living in Florida have received a COVID-19 vaccine dose. In Pinellas County, specifically, he said 35% of seniors received a shot.
DeSantis added that next week they’re going to do an additional 5,000 doses at another new pop-up site.READ MORE: Miami-Dade Daniella Mayor Levine Cava: 'Countywide Curfew Could Be Lifted By April 5th'
The announcements come a day after he faced backlash for making a veiled threat to withhold vaccines over complaints that he’s favoring wealthy communities.
While at a press conference to discuss a new vaccination site for Lakewood Ranch residents, the governor said, “If Manatee County doesn’t like us doing this, we are totally fine with putting this in counties that want it. We’re totally happy to do that. So anyone that’s saying that, let us know. If you want us to send to Sarasota next time or Charlotte or Pasco or wherever, let us know, we’re happy to do it.”
It was reported that DeSantis himself reached out to a wealthy Lakewood Ranch developer and offered to set up exclusive vaccine sites.
The site set up on Wednesday would only service residents living in only two ZIP codes: 34202 and 34211.
DeSantis defended the choice when confronted.MORE NEWS: CBS4 Photojournalist Rafael Murciano Is Quite 'The Entertainer' With His Musical Talents
“It wasn’t a choice about ZIP codes, it was a choice about where a high concentration of seniors, where you could have communities provide the ability for them to go on (to get vaccinated),” he said.