Melissa McKinlay

DeSantis Detractor McKinlay Goes Unmasked To School Event

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Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay Seen Unmasked At Gala Just Weeks Before Being Quoted On “60 Minutes.”

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, unmasked, at a Glades Day School Gala in March. She criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of COVID-19 policies on 60 Minutes just days later.

BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher

UPDATE: A previous version of this story stated McKinlay appeared in the 60 Minutes segment. She was quoted in the reporter’s “voiceover,” but did not appear.

PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL ( (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, a vocal detractor of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his COVID policies, went unmasked to an indoor private school “gala” in Palm Beach County.

Photos provided to show McKinlay, Commissioner for District 6, dressed to impress but unmasked at the benefit for Glades Day School. The event was held at Pelican Club in Jupiter.

The Glades Day School Gala occurred on March 26th, 2021.

McKinlay told Friday morning that she “made a mistake,” “should have had my mask on at all times,” and “makes no excuses.” She said the Palm Beach Post reported on her mask issue earlier, although we see just a brief mention in a story about vaccinations. Glades Day School did not respond to questions about the event that took place on March 26th. The photos provided to are similar to photos posted on the Facebook page of the “event planner” who — on March 27th — wrote “gala done right.”

Photo posted by the “event planner” on social media. Commissioner Melissa McKinlay is seen unmasked at this event, just weeks before appearing on 60 Minutes to criticize Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ COVID-19 policies.

The event creates a significant optics issue for the commissioner, who just weeks after the event was quoted on the CBS News program “60 Minutes.” She is mentioned in a story critical of Gov. DeSantis’ handling of vaccines in Belle Glade — her district. The story focused, among other issues, on the State’s deal with Publix for vaccine distribution. There are no Publix locations in Belle Glade.

Transcript: “But Melissa McKinlay, the county commissioner in the Glades, told us the governor never met with her about the Publix deal.”

Census figures show that Belle Glade, in her district, is 59 percent African American, with a 42 percent poverty rate. While blaming Governor DeSantis for neglecting this community, she is seen at a club without a mask at an event where no African American citizens are visible.

No masks at the Glades Day School Gala in Jupiter. Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay is seen in the black and white dress. She appeared on 60 Minutes just weeks later to criticize Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and his COVID vaccine rollout.

Palm Beach County itself continues its mask mandate, recently extended until mid-May. The mandate is authorized by the Palm Beach County Commission.


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