MorseLife Health System, a high-end senior care company in West Palm Beach, Florida is under investigation for allegedly offering the COVID-19 vaccine to local country club members and wealthy donors, said Gov. Ron DeSantis on Jan. 7.
The vaccines the local institution received were only for residents and staff.
“To go under that rubric when you’re not a resident and not a staff member, that’s definitely going outside what the guidance is and what the program is for,” DeSantis told the press in Vero Beach on Jan. 7.
“If you are not a long-term care resident, but you’re 65 and up, there are other options for you,” he said. “We want you to get vaccinated.”
Ryna Greenbaum, 89, a donor of the nursing system said she received a call from Keith Myers, chief executive of MorseLife Health System around New Years’ day, “He asked me if I wanted to have a vaccine.”
“I’m one of the people who has given him some money,” she told The Washington Post.
The Palm Beach Post said, that most donors to the Morselife are the members of Palm Beach County Club. Bill and David Mack, the New York developers are big donors to the senior care system and the board of Directors of the country club. Their friends were able to get care and shots at Morselife.
“Keith Myers does a fabulous job there. He is wonderful,” Greenbaum said, according to The Palm Beach Post. “I think if they want to give it to people then they can give it to people. And they are not just giving it to any people. They are giving it to people who give them money.”
Dr. Alina Alonso, Palm Beach County Health Dept. Director said the county does not control nursing facilities’ distribution, but it’s shocking to know that they give it out to people other than the intended group, according to ABC local channel 25WPBF.
DeSantis said he expects results from state investigations into MorseLife soon.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) urged a congressional investigation into reports of improper vaccine distribution by MorseLife.
In a statement on Jan. 7, he said: “The priority is getting these vaccines out to those that need it most. The first priority is our seniors and vulnerable population, and our healthcare and frontline workers.”
“It is absolutely disgusting and immoral that anyone would take vaccines intended for nursing home residents to distribute them to their friends. This type of gross mismanagement will not be tolerated, and those responsible must be held accountable,” Scott said.