NYC real estate brothers Bill and David S. Mack allegedly personally arranged for a host of their wealthy friends from Manhattan and the ritzy Palm Beach Country Club to get the COVID-19 vaccine at a Florida retirement home.
While elderly Florida residents line up overnight for the vaccine, sources say the Macks allegedly “made a list” of one-percenters given the chance to receive the vaccine, and some even allegedly flew in on private jets from NYC for the jab.
The vaccine was administered at the not-for-profit nursing home Joseph L. Morse Health Center in Palm Beach — conveniently located on David S. Mack Drive in West Palm Beach, where — wait for it — David S. Mack is the chairman.
One source said, “David and Bill Mack arranged for their friends from the Palm Beach Country Club to be vaccinated for COVID-19. They apparently made a list of people who could get the vaccine, who one can only assume are their wealthy friends and clients.
“Supposedly, some people flew down in private jets from New York just for the vaccine, if they were lucky enough to be on the list the brothers made. It wasn’t just members of the Palm Beach Country Club who got the vaccine, but there were many club members who did.”
A second source confirmed, “A friend got the first shot two days ago at ‘Morse Old Folks Home’ [his description], arranged by the Palm Beach Country Club.
“Another friend said, ‘Do you know Bill Mack?’ [suggesting knowing him could help get the vaccine].”
The Macks confirmed in a statement to Page Six that they had been vaccinating people in Florida. Their spokesperson said, “Several not-for-profit health and senior care organizations in Florida are undertaking major vaccination efforts. David and Bill Mack were asked to assist a not-for-profit healthcare institution with the organization of its vaccination campaign.
“Some vaccine recipients may have been Palm Beach Country Club members, but substantially fewer than your sources indicated, and this was not a targeted effort to vaccinate club members.”
It costs upward of $100,000 to join the exclusive Country Club, and applications are said to have skyrocketed as more people have relocated from Manhattan to the Palm Beach area in 2020.
When pressed about the names of the not-for-profit group, the Mack spokesperson confirmed it was the Joseph L. Morse Health Center.
The rep would not confirm nor deny the Macks made a list of wealthy friends for the vaccination, or whether any flew in from NYC for the shot.
The first source wonders whether “David S. Mack arranged for a non-profit he runs to ask himself [the boss] for self-serving help to find the one-percenters who ‘need’ the vaccine?”
Their rep countered, “Everything was done in accordance with Governor DeSantis’s order as it relates to persons 65 and older.”
People over 65 are eligible in Florida to receive the vaccination and the state has partnered with hospitals and other healthcare centers, including care homes, to administer the vaccine to vulnerable people.
Long-term care home residents are on the priority list to receive the vaccine, but those on the Macks’ list were not residents, the sources stressed. However, there is no indication the Morse Health Center failed to vaccinate its residents and staff or turned away others not on the Macks’ alleged list.
Florida has received 1,137,000 doses of the vaccine as of Monday, although only a fraction of that has been given out, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
The first dose has been given to 260,655 people, according to the Florida Department of Health. The vaccines are administered by hospitals and by the Florida Department of Health.
But glitches have continued in the vaccination effort, for which demand is far exceeding supply. The state health department’s Broward County website stopped accepting appointments Monday. And its Palm Beach County office shut down COVID phone lines Monday after its system was overwhelmed, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
Meanwhile, seniors camped out overnight on Sunday in line for the vaccine at Daytona Stadium. The COVID-19 vaccine distribution site reached capacity even before it was set to open. At 6:30 a.m., the site’s 1,000 allocated vaccines were all accounted for. The site wasn’t scheduled to open until 7 a.m. but officials started to let people in the gates at 4:30 a.m.
Mack Real Estate Group, headquartered in New York City, was founded in 2013 by William, Richard and Stephen Mack, whose family experience in commercial real estate dates back several decades.
The family is known for its philanthropic efforts — having supported the Long Island Jewish Medical Center — and was one of the first to support Lenox Health Greenwich Village after the closure of St. Vincent’s Hospital in 2010.