Three Republicans in the Florida delegation on Capitol Hill–U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart–called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to work with the government of Puerto Rico on COVID-19 vaccinations.
The three Florida Republicans joined U.S. Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, R-PR, in writing Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton on Thursday, calling on him “to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts for Puerto Rico by working with the government of Puerto Rico to establish a federally supported mass vaccination site, or propose and implement alternative measures to support vaccine uptake, on the island.”
They pointed to federal efforts to fight the vaccine in the Sunshine State.
“There are currently four federally supported mass vaccination sites in Florida, located in major population hubs, that are each capable of administering up to 3,000 shots a day. Approximately half a million vaccine doses have come from these four sites and they are clearly popular among Floridians. Nationally, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mass vaccination sites have administered 3.4 million vaccines,” they wrote. “While meaningful progress in fighting COVID-19 is being made, Americans must regain the confidence to travel to every part of our country freely. This includes Puerto Rico. Countless Americans have family members on the island they are desperate to reconnect with and Americans living in Puerto Rico are likewise eager to be at ease traveling to and from the Continental U.S. It is the job of the federal government, in concert with the government of Puerto Rico, to focus on distributing vaccines as widely as possible to support the health of residents and ensure a robust economic recovery. We will not be successful in this goal until every American who wants a vaccine can get one.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have urged all levels of government to work together in a transparent, accountable manner, prioritizing a consistent flow of accurate, timely information. We must continue to put the needs of our communities above all else. That includes the health and safety of our citizens as well as their ability to have to good job and support their families,” they continued. “Puerto Rico, and the Puerto Rican community in the Continental U.S., deserve fair treatment and consideration during the country’s vaccination efforts. We look forward to your response to this urgent matter and working together to support Puerto Rican families as they, and all Americans, fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.