Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay Seen Unmasked At Gala Just Weeks Before Being Quoted On “60 Minutes.”
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 (BocaNewsNow.com) (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 BocaNewsNow.com 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.
McKinlay told BocaNewsNow.com 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 BocaNewsNow.com are similar to photos posted on the Facebook page of the “event planner” who — on March 27th — wrote “gala done right.”
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.
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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