Records from Palm Beach County, Florida, in response to American Oversight’s request for records regarding the processing of public records requests that seek records concerning the coronavirus outbreak, including, but not limited to, records about how public agencies or officials are responding to the outbreak. Key highlights are below.
Records from Palm Beach County, Fla., in response to American Oversight’s request for records concerning the coronavirus outbreak, including records about how public agencies or officials are responding to the outbreak.
The records contain information about attempts to increase testing, including by collaborating with private companies.
March 22, 2020: Palm Beach County Administrator Verdenia Baker emailed Dr. Alina Alonso, the county’s representative in the Florida Department of Health. Baker wrote that it was crucial to add testing sites in Palm Beach, saying, “We have third largest county in this State and a very large senior population.” Alonso responded, “I agree. I am so disappointed we did not receive any from the state. How do they consider giving to other counties with less cases than us? I just don’t get the decisions that are being made.”
April 1, 2020: Dr. Nathan E. Nachlas, the president of ENT and Allergy Associates of Florida, a physician group, emailed Palm Beach County Commissioner Robert Weinroth explaining that a shipment of point-of-care test kits was “being held for unknown reason” at the Port of Philadelphia by the CBP’s assistant area port director. Nachlas asked for help and wrote, “Without our testing kits, we will leave our providers exposed in their caring for the overwhelming numbers of patients being affected.” In response, Weinroth copied staffers for Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott to assist.
April 3, 2020: Pamela Weinroth, Commissioner Weinroth’s wife, forwarded him details about an “opportunity to purchase masks” from a client of hers, which the commissioner’s office then shared with other county officials. The masks appear to have been made in China.
April 19, 2020: An official from the Village of Royal Palm Beach sent comments to a Walmart representative about a special event permit application Walmart had filed to set up a testing site in the county.
Part of Investigation: