Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh releases statement on vaccine controversy after calls for resignation

Chairman Venessa Baugh
Chairman Venessa Baugh(Manatee County Government)
Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:50 PM EST
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LAKEWOOD RANCH, Fla. (WWSB) - After calls from both the Manatee County Democrats and U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, for her resignation, County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh released another statement on the controversy regarding vaccine distribution in affluent areas of Manatee County.

Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Lakewood Ranch last Wednesday where he responded to reporter questions over why the county’s most affluent areas were getting the vaccines. The sites, set up in ZIP codes 34211 and 34202, were selected by Baugh.

At a County Commission work session the following day, Baugh took full responsibility for the locations chosen in the area and asserted that DeSantis was blameless. She pointed out that she herself had not yet received a vaccine. The distribution and ZIP code choice, she said, all started with her.

On Monday, after calls for her to resign, Baugh reached out to ABC7′s Daniela Hurtado with the following statement:

“I have apologized to my constituents and my colleagues for a lapse in judgment. These petty partisan political calls are nothing more than the divisive politics our Nation needs to steer away from. I will continue working to bring more vaccine to Manatee County and lead us through this pandemic,” Baugh wrote in an email.

Despite the apology, some residents of Manatee County will be holding a resignation rally Tuesday to demand that Baugh step down from her position. That event will be held beginning at 8 a.m., at the County Administration Building, 1112 Manatee Ave. W, Bradenton.

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