A month after making $100,000 in donations to Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s re-election PAC, the Publix supermarket chain last week was made the sole distributor of Covid-19 vaccines in 12 counties.
Publix, which has a history of making donations mostly to Republicans, including former president Donald Trump, and DeSantis both denied the donations were related to the partnership. Most of the counties in which Publix were named sole distributors of the vaccine were safely red ones.
When asked last week about the issue, a Publix spokeswoman said it wasn’t entirely true that they were partnering only in red counties, pointing out that Palm Beach County, a solidly Democratic one, was also part of the pilot program.
However, a number of rural and black communities in the county don’t have a Publix. For many of those towns, the closest Publix is 35 to 40 miles. Palm Beach County representative Omari Hardy, who represents some of those rural and majority black communities tweeted Wednesday:
“The decision to make Publix the sole vaccine distributor in Palm Beach County means that Black people will continue to struggle to gain access to this vaccine. He has to know this. This is more evidence DeSantis doesn’t care one bit about Black people. Not one bit.”