BRADENTON, Fla. - Congressman Charlie Crist is calling for the acting U.S. attorney general to investigate Governor Ron DeSantis and his "pop-up vaccination locations."
"I don’t like to criticize the man, but I can’t keep silent about something that’s this bad," said Congressman Crist.
He's concerned that party politics and wealthy donors are influencing site locations.
"It's inappropriate. It’s probably illegal and it’s certainly unethical," Crist continued.
Governor DeSantis has maintained he's sending vaccines to where seniors are located and where vaccination rates are low.
"We had seen Manatee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties as being in as 20% so we said we had to do more," said Governor DeSantis last week.
Nearly two weeks ago, Governor DeSantis opened a pop-up site in Venice, followed by King's Gate in Port Charlotte, located within the development Neal Homes.
The company is owned by developer Pat Neal. Neal reached out to Lakewood Ranch developer Rex Jensen with Governor DeSantis on the phone.
The governor offered a pop-up clinic to two areas of Jensen's choice.
The accusation comes after Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh issued an apology for providing a list of vaccination locations, primarily from affluent Lakewood Ranch, instead of using the county’s lottery system.
Congressman Crist said there was clear intent.
"These are also Republican enclaves. Let’s not be naive. I don’t know if he’s trying to stoke the base or make sure they’re alive in 2022 for his reelection or what’s going on. None of it is good," said Congressman Crist.
For communities of color, Congressman Crist said hope runs low.
"If I’m a minority, a person of color, if I’m Hispanic or Black, I’m looking at this and saying these are pop downs. These are popping down on my community while he’s popping up others. He’s choosing not winners and losers, but livers or diers and that’s unconscionable. That can not stand," he said.
Vaccines he said, should be kept non-partisan.
"We are talking about life and death, we are now over 30,000 of our fellow Floridians that have died. They are gone. Because of this horrible pandemic," he added.