Rep. Blaise Ingoglio pushed back hard against a Tampa Bay Times article suggesting he pulled strings to get family vaccinated. Further, he said the newspaper knew he did no such thing, but sensationalized the story for attention.
“They are clearly misleading their readers with biased and unreliable reporting,” he said.
Controversy arose when the Times reported Wellington at Seven Hills was receiving nearly 650 out of 2,000 vaccines distributed to the Hernando County Health Department. The article mentioned Ingoglia’s father, Andrew, lives at the gated community, and mentioned Ingoglia previously served as Republican Party of Florida chair.
There’s no further mention of Ingoglia beyond the eyebrow-raising fourth paragraph, and the state lawmaker isn’t quoted and says he was never called. Further, the piece does quote two Democratic officials who sparred politically in the past with Ingoglia.
For the record, the newspaper did quote a health department official who said it chose to distribute the vaccines through Wellington because the community showed interest in the vaccinations. As a 55-and-older community, most there are eligible for shots since Gov. Ron DeSantis opened access to those 65 and older.
DeSantis at a press conference in Bradenton Thursday made