Philly Fighting COVID (PFC) just started last year as a non-profit startup, which is assigned to act as Philadelphia's first mass vaccination clinic. However, the higher they rose from the beginning, the harder they fell only to plunge to the now-viral Philadelphia Vaccine Scandal.
How Philly Fighting COVID started
Coronavirus was just emerging at the time when the startup began nine months ago. Andrei Doroshin, a 22-year-old graduate from Drexel, spearheaded the formation of Philly Fighting COVID which was composed of members with different backgrounds in medicine, marketing, and engineering.
WHYY reported Doroshin's bio, which is now deleted on the startup website, posted his achievements including entrepreneurship, filmmaking, real estate investing, and non-profit leadership.
Doroshin created "Invisible Sea," a non-profit teen org that aims for air quality improvement in Southern California, but the fundraising was an epic failure after only hitting $684 out of a $50,000 target goal.
The PFC's staffing page was already removed from the bare-bones website, where it said there that the team has been producing 3D-printed PPE for the health care personnel. Furthermore, the startup's partnership with the Department of Public Health was also indicated there. The objective of the collaboration is to test 20,000 people in the Fishtown parking lot.
The early months saw a lot of praises about PFC for their dedication and hard work, which spread from Philadelphia to social media. It was only the tip of the iceberg that people overlooked.
What's Deal All About
Philadelphia is finally ready for the mass vaccination of its 1.6 million people. Philly Fighting COVID reported that it could vaccinate 100 to 450 Philadelphians per hour, which translates to the 24-hour tally of 1,000 to 4,500 citizens.
First, residents should sign-up in a pre-registration form for them to be notified about the vaccination phases and other updates about COVID-19 concerns. PFC said that over 60,000 have signed up and the data will be relayed to the city's health department.
Doroshin joined in the press conference during early January, but the CEO refused to give the specific mass vaccination cost when he was asked about it. The young founder only answered "a price of a really nice Mercedes,"
In an interview with Today, Doroshin said his team thinks differently than the healthcare workers. He added that PFC will carry out building a new model of their plan which is factory-based.
On January 18, PFC's website encountered many problems with people's registration and vaccine information. Two days later, Philly Fighting COVID stopped its operations without notifying the city and its people. Several outrages have sprouted following the sudden shutdown of what they believed is a 'pro-people, non-profit org.'
As a result, the city decided to sever its connection with the startup after 5,000 citizens received their first dose of the vaccine. A city spokesperson said that the decision came after they learned that the PFC is only helping for their 'own' good.
Doroshin's response in the Philadelphia Vaccine Scandal
The PFC CEO confessed that he really took home four vaccine doses on January 23. With no medical background, he gave the doses to his friends, even though his LinkedIn profile says otherwise: a neuroscience student. He insisted that he did that because the doses will only go to waste.
According to Business Insider, Doroshin made himself accountable for the mistake about people's private data that might leak but said that they did not give any data to anyone. He, however, admitted that the group looks forward to receiving a profit, which did not happen.
Responses from concerned citizens
Tom Farley, the city's health commissioner said that what happened is "disturbing." He added that he should have not cooperated with Philadelphia Fighting COVID if that's the only thing that will happen.
Since PFC was already exposed in their true agendum, a former volunteer came out and admitted that the group was only boasting their money, instead of boasting their help to the people.
A former nurse who work for PFC also shared the same sentiment on Twitter.
As an RN who volunteered to give vaccines for them I feel super shitty about my complicity in this mess. I was there Saturday - Andrei Doroshin, the CEO at Philly Fighting COVID, took home a ziplock bag-full of vaccines. Stuffed them in his bag and left with them.— Katrina Lipinsky (@Katweeta) January 26, 2021
For the city's DPH spokesperson, James Garrow, Philadelphia cut ties with PFC because they could no longer be trusted in distributing the vaccine doses to the people.
Doroshin Won't Stop
After the fiasco that broke the hearts of the Philadelphians, Doroshin believes that Farley is the one behind the broke-up of PFC and the city. Mayor Jim Kenney supported Farley and told that the 22-year-old is only playing cards with his 'political conspiracy' beliefs.'
Still, Doroshin also hit a group of Black American doctors after accusing them that their team "did not present a plan" unlike PFC that stepped up to carry out the vaccination program.
Before confessing about his taken doses for his friends, he first denied and said that he had no idea about that. When Doroshin spoke in front of the media, he is not wearing a face mask even in the midst of the surging COVID-19 cases in the country.
Doroshin plans to go out-of-town because he's been receiving death threats but still says that he wants to resume the vaccination program.
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Written by Joen Coronel