Governor DeSantis Criticizes Biden’s Vaccine Plan

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Massimo Aguila

As COVID-19 vaccines roll out across the US, Joe Biden is said to be thinking about mobilizing FEMA along with the National Guard to expedite the process.

Massimo Aguila, CavsConnect Staff

With the United States surpassing 400,000 Coronavirus deaths, the threat of the pandemic still looms large. While Florida leads the U.S. in COVID-19 variants, Governor Ron DeSantis has criticized Joe Biden’s plan for vaccine distribution with Federal Emergency Management Agency tents.

As the United States continues to suffer from the pandemic and its death toll remains on the rise, California has become the first state to confirm more than three million cases. So far, the U.S. has been able to recover more than 50 percent of the 22 million jobs lost at the height of COVID-19. Worldwide, there have been more than 56.7 million vaccinations administered; the fastest vaccine campaign in history.

Joe Biden, who was recently inaugurated as president of the U.S., has already issued executive orders in an effort to combat this ongoing issue. His most recent signings include mandating mask-wearing for 100 days on all federal property, forming better data collection systems, establishing a health equity task force, publishing guidance for school and workers in operations and finding treatments for COVID-19 and any possible future pandemic.

Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security. President Biden has said he will deploy FEMA, along with the National Guard, in order to expedite the distribution of the vaccine. His goal is to distribute 100 million doses in the U.S. by his first 100 days in office.

Under this joint plan, the White House will enlist these groups to set up thousands of community vaccination sites to help states vaccinate more people. The President, in an effort to lessen the burden on individual states, has said the Federal government will reimburse every state for their use of the National Guard. In addition to this, Biden vowed to use the Defense Production Act to help ramp up the supply of various vaccines.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has since then criticized the plan, saying that it was “not necessary in Florida.” The governor said Biden should allow the states to have control over vaccine distribution within the state, and that the federal government should worry about acquiring and ramping up production of the actual vaccine, saying “all we need is more vaccines, just get us more vaccines.” He went on to praise the health workers and departments tasked with administering the vaccine, citing the state’s partnership with Publix pharmacy as a major component to the 700,000 seniors who have gotten at least the first dose of the vaccine.

Over one million people have been administered the first dose of the vaccine in Florida, with over 120,000 having already received both doses. The bulk of these vaccinations have been for those in the age group of 55-84. While COVID-19 vaccines are increasing in supply, there are not yet enough vaccines for all 21 million Florida residents to receive both doses. Despite the rise in vaccinations, Florida has surpassed 1.6 million cases as of Jan. 20, with just under 24,000 deaths.

While I do not personally know many people that have gotten the vaccine, I still think that the state of Florida is doing a pretty good job of distributing it to healthcare workers and at-risk people.”

— sophomore Alejandro Garcia

Florida also faces a rising number of people with COVID-19 variants, more than any other state according to the Center for Disease Control. There are now 46 cases of a more contagious COVID-19 variant in Florida, followed by California with 40 cases of the variant. The most prominent variant found in the state finds its origin in the U.K., where the first reports of the variant were made only a few months ago. According to the British Broadcasting Corporation, new strands of the virus will continue to appear as the vaccine is distributed.

“I hope the state of Florida and the federal government are able to control the spread of a COVID-19 variant. Florida is the leading state in variant cases so the governor should take charge of that fight in order to protect citizens and especially seniors,” sophomore Adrian Gonzalez said.

It is still unclear how Florida will meet the demand for vaccinations, however, updates for its distribution are usually announced frequently. Joe Biden will likely continue to put into effect executive orders in order to combat the virus and with the distribution of the vaccine.