First person COVID-vaccinated in Florida dies in jet-ski “accident”
A man who the Coast Guard says died Saturday in a jet-ski crash near West Palm Beach, turns out to have been the first person in Florida vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19.
The Coast Guard says University of Florida Health CEO Leon Haley lost control of the jet-ski and crashed into a jetty. He was wearing a life jacket and riding a 2021 10-foot Yamaha Jet Ski.
Dr. Haley was the first person vaccinated in Florida against COVID-19 in December of last year. He also had the distinction of being the first Black CEO of UF Health.
He played a pivotal role in getting the COVID-19 vaccine rolled out in Jacksonville, especially in the Black community.
Dr Haley meant so much to so many people and to Jacksonville. Losing him is tragic and painful. I’m praying for his family. I always enjoyed our professional interactions but really enjoyed him as a person. We often talked about our families. Below is from a few years ago. https://t.co/gXpQCPNApj
— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) July 24, 2021
Haley said when he received the vaccine he wanted to help Black people who are hesitant about getting the vaccine. He supported Black faith leaders and helped tell Back people the science is safe for them to get the vaccine.