Philadelphia Officials Livid, Taking Action Over City’s Dealings With Philly Fighting COVID

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Questions are mounting as to how Philly Fighting COVID was able to partner with the City of Philadelphia. City officials are livid and taking action.

The Philadelphia City Council is calling for a hearing with the city’s health department and its dealings with the organization.

“We demand answers,” Philadelphia Councilmember Cindy Bass said.

Bass didn’t mince words Thursday while directing a message to the city’s health department and the mayor’s office.

“This is a moment in Philadelphia history that’ll be remembered but for all of the wrong reasons,” Bass said.

The criticism is in connection to city contracts for COVID testing and vaccine distribution given to a little known startup called Philly Fighting COVID.

The city severed its ties with the group this week after the organization changed its status from a nonprofit to for-profit.

“Why?” asked Bass. “More needs to be known.”

The councilwoman’s remarks also come after a volunteer with the clinic posted on Twitter the CEO, 22-year-old Andrei Doroshin, took home a bag-full of vaccines.

Eyewitness News went to Doroshin’s apartment building, wanting to ask him how his organization had extra doses to take home. We were later told he’s not available until Friday.

But on the “Today” show, the Drexel University graduate student admitted he took four vaccine doses and gave them to friends.

“I stand by that decision,” Doroshin said. “I understand I made that mistake. That is my mistake to carry for the rest of my life.”

Meantime, Congressman Dwight Evans of Philadelphia wrote a letter demanding answers.

“I’m not confident that the current people in the health department have the ability to make it happen,” Evans said.

Still, some on City Council have also met with the CEO. It happened over Zoom last November for an informational meeting into the group’s plans for vaccine distribution.

Now, many people who had registered with the city to get vaccinated at the Convention Center with Philly Fighting COVID are left with questions of their own.

“Me and my one friend have been emailing the city back and forth to see if there’s a plan, if they’re going to honor those commitments that were made, and they’re not giving us a straight answer and it’s very unfortunate,” said Nick Montone of South Philadelphia.

As for those who received a first dose through Philly Fighting COVID, Mayor Jim Kenney’s Office says the health department will contact them about getting a second dose.


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