Florida Governor Ron DeSantis shaded his eyes as a Navy helicopter unloaded pallets of COVID vaccines onto Fisher Island, the wealthiest neighborhood in the United States.
“That’s it! Keep ‘em coming!” he yelled over the rotor wash.
Replete in a bomber jacket and aviator glasses, the governor briefly stepped away from the helipad and onto an adjacent pier to explain why he prioritized Fisher Island’s residents over those in poorer neighborhoods.
“We have to protect the most vulnerable people in the state, and no one is more vulnerable than Fisher Islanders,” insisted DeSantis. “They make an average of $2.2 million a year. Can you imagine what would happen if they weren’t at full health? Practically anyone could beat them up, take the money right out of their weakened hands! Even a poor person!”
Surfable waves from a destroyer-sized yacht’s wake crashed against the seawall. The morning sun ricocheted off a metallic green ocean and directly into the eyes of a long line of governesses, butlers, and housekeepers that snaked toward the helipad to receive vaccine vials. I asked if they would also be inoculated, to which DeSantis laughed uproariously.
“The help?” he cried. “God no! They take the vaccines back to their masters’ live-in-home doctors, who then inoculate the residents. That reminds me…”
The governor turned to an aide.
“How much do these doctors make?”
“$550,000 a year,” came the reply.
“Ah, OK,” responded DeSantis gravely. “I guess they can get shots too.”
To date, half of Fisher Island’s residents have been vaccinated. By comparison, only 2% of Opa-Locka, a predominantly Black neighborhood with a 40% poverty rate, received vaccines. DeSantis rolled his eyes when confronted with these figures.
“It’s the free market!” he cried, all earnestness and exasperation. ”A rising storm surge lifts all mega-yachts, or something like that. Fisher Islanders get the vaccines and become immune to COVID. They transfer that immunity to their hedge fund managers, Bugatti dealers, and dominatrix madams. Then that trickles down to Whole Foods cashiers, Apple employees, and the rest of the unwashed masses. It’s science!”
I informed the governor that he was gravely mistaken about how vaccines worked, but he just narrowed his eyes and shoved me into the Atlantic.
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