The superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools slams Fisher Island for buying $30,000 worth of antibody tests as schools work to feed ‘shoeless, mask-less, hungry children’

Miami-Dade Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho in 2017. Jesus Aranguren/AP Images for Prudential Financial

The richest ZIP code in the US, a private island off the coast of Miami, purchased coronavirus antibody tests for every single resident and staff member in the community, The Miami Herald first reported on Monday.

The island paid a total of $US30,600 for 1,800 tests that cost $US17 each, according to The New York Times.

Fisher Island’s widespread, advanced testing is just the latest example of ways in which the wealthy are weathering the pandemic far more easily than the average American – and local leaders have noticed.

The superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools took to Twitter to express his outrage. Following the news, Alberto Carvalho wrote: “I cannot reconcile the shoeless, mask-less, hungry children we fed today with this [Fisher Island] headline.”

Public schools in Miami-Dade County have been closed since March 16 due to the coronavirus – and since then, the school system has distributed over half a million “grab-and-go” meals to families all over the district. It has been serving “the neediest in our community,” Carvalho said in an April 8 statement.

“Fame, fortune, power, or position” should not dictate who gets tested for coronavirus, Carvalho continued on Twitter in response to the Fisher Island testing news. “Dismayed how some, in the middle of a resource scarcity bottleneck, are not only being expediently tested but their results are announced overnight if not instantaneously.”

The antibody tests being used on Fisher Island are rapid blood test kits, which produce results within 10 to 15 minutes, can determine whether or not someone has already had the coronavirus, and are not yet widely available.

In a statement emailed to Business Insider, Fisher Island spokesperson Sissy DeMaria Koehne noted that half of the island’s residents are over the age of 60, which the CDC previously deemed a higher-risk category for the coronavirus. DeMaria Koehne also noted that the island is funding the cost of testing, which is currently underway, and that the testing efforts are joined by ongoing social distancing measures.

The office of the superintendent didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.