WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A candidate for governor passed through Palm Beach County on Tuesday urging more Floridians to get vaccinated.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, is touring the state in an effort to increase vaccination rates in Florida amid a spike in coronavirus cases this summer.
"Somebody has to urge getting the vaccine. Our current governor is not doing it, and I do not understand why. It breaks my heart because my dad is a doctor my sister is a doctor," Crist said Tuesday in Palm Beach County.
Florida, we're going to overcome this pandemic — but we have to work together and encourage folks to get vaccinated.— Charlie Crist (@CharlieCrist) September 6, 2021
We’re hitting the ground running on another leg of the #GOTVax tour in Miami, Broward and Palm Beach. Follow along this week! pic.twitter.com/7WrV40OKiH
Crist visited a muffler shop near West Palm Beach along Military Trail whose owner held a vaccine event last month. He also visited another business in Lake Worth Beach later in the day.
"Why the governor doesn't push that first, the vaccine, and wearing masks is beyond me. It makes no sense, and I'm glad he's pushing the medicine," Crist said. "God forbid somebody gets it. They have something to use, but he ought to do prevention first."
Gov. Ron DeSantis has endorsed the vaccine but lately has been touring the state's newly established antibody clinics that help treat people who test positive for COVID-19.
"We're happy this is something that people have had success with and that's what it's all about, early treatment, saving lives, keeping people out of hospitals," DeSantis said in St. Cloud on Tuesday.
The governor said the clinics have helped 65,000 Floridians who have tested positive for COVID-19, including some who have been vaccinated.
"We are seeing a lot of infections among the vaccinated, and if you're high risk, you probably want a treatment option as well," DeSantis said.
Crist is seeking Florida's highest office for a second time after serving as governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011.
He and Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried are currently the top Democratic challengers seeking to unseat DeSantis in 2022.
Crist will be visiting Broward and Miami-Dade counties later this week to speak at similar vaccine events.