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West Palm Beach mayor on vaccine distribution and inequitable distribution

Posted at 9:55 AM, Apr 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-11 09:56:06-04

Nearly 7 million Floridians have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, but many leaders worry about the underserved communities' ability to get vaccinated.

West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James said he is happy with new vaccine site at Gaines Park that is allowing residents to get vaccinated. He told Michael Williams on To The Point, he wished there was a better plan when the vaccines first became available.

West Palm Beach mayor on vaccine distribution and inequitable distribution

"The difference between testing and vaccines, is that we knew that we eventually going to get a vaccine," James said. "My view is that some point during our preparation and reaction to COVID there should have been a time that people were sitting in a room, game planning how to get the vaccine out."

James said there should have also been better planning to get vaccines to underserved and minority communities.

"One of the factors that should have been considered is what are the communities, who are the people that are most adversely affected by this vaccine and shouldn't we, perhaps, give them some priority or certainly prioritize the messaging and availability to those communities," James said.

Remembering former Rep. Alcee Hastings

James recently appeared on CBS' 60 Minutes to discuss the vaccine distribution. While the segment made national headlines for the controversy surrounding Governor Ron DeSantis' choice to choose Publix to help administer the vaccine, James said kept the focus on West Palm Beach.

"I did not know where the story was going to go, with respect with the pay-to-play allegations or anything like that, and that really wasn't my focus," James said. "I really wanted to continue to shine the spotlight on the inequitable distribution."

James said he is happy the state and county leaders came together to provide more vaccines opportunities for people living in West Palm Beach.

Closing comments with Mary Anna Mancuso and Brian Crowley

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