DeSantis speaks about funding for Monroe County; state’s vaccination efforts

Governor also touts state’s falling unemployment rate

Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Key Largo on Friday and trumpeted Florida nearing 1 million senior citizens vaccinated, but many are still waiting for their first shot.

KEY LARGO, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference Friday afternoon at the Murray Nelson Government Center in Key Largo to announce that Monroe County will be receiving $16.7 million through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s Rebuild Florida program for various projects.

The governor said $1.3 million will go to assist Key Largo with protecting vulnerable homes against storm surge, $10.4 million will go to Monroe County to protect against flooding and sea level rise and $5 million will go to improve wastewater and storm water infrastructure in Key West.

DeSantis said a total of $100 million will go toward various projects across Florida to make the state more resilient against future storms, especially when dealing with flooding.

During Friday’s news conference, the governor also touted the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, saying close to 20% of seniors ages 65 and older in Florida have been vaccinated. He said the state is close to vaccinating the 1 millionth senior.

DeSantis also praised the state’s economic growth, saying Florida has added 20,000 private sector jobs in the last month, while many states have reported higher job losses.

“We are not only gaining jobs, but we’re doing it against the tide,” he said.

The governor credited the falling unemployment rate in the state with keeping Florida “open” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our schools are open. Parents have the ability to send their kid in person, people have a right to work in Florida – government can’t shut you down – and businesses have a right to operate,” he said.

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Amanda Batchelor is the managing editor for