Last week, U.S. Reps. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., sent a letter urging Gov. Ron DeSantis to provide an update regarding the state’s efforts to vaccinate Holocaust survivors living in Florida against the COVID-19 virus.
There are tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors residing in Florida and the Members are requesting information about the progress of the state program to vaccinate this population, including estimates of how many survivors have yet to be vaccinated.
The text of the letter can be found below.
Dear Governor DeSantis:
We write to respectfully request an update from your administration regarding the state’s efforts to vaccinate Holocaust survivors living in Florida against the COVID-19 virus.
According to the best available estimates, there are about 80,000 Holocaust survivors living in the United States, including tens of thousands residing in Florida. They are of advanced age—all are over 75 and most are over 85—and are therefore particularly vulnerable to the virus. A sizeable percentage of Holocaust survivors live in poverty or have limited means. Some live at home, others reside at nursing homes or at other facilities where they receive a range of services.
We have a special responsibility to protect Holocaust survivors, whose numbers are rapidly dwindling due to the passage of time and, unfortunately, the ravages of the pandemic. Now in the twilight of their lives, these men and women are a national treasure. They endured Hitler’s death camps and experienced other unspeakable horrors. They are a living, breathing reminder of humanity’s capacity for evil, but also of humanity’s capacity for grace and fortitude in the face of such evil.
We understand that Florida has a program in place to vaccinate Holocaust survivors in the state. We ask that you please update us on the progress this program has made to date, including your best estimates regarding the number of Holocaust survivors who have been vaccinated, the number of Holocaust survivors who still need to be vaccinated, and your strategy to vaccinate those remaining individuals.