PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The controversy continues around Philly Fighting COVID. Andrei Doroshin, the 22-year-old CEO, spoke out in his own defense from his apartment on Friday, saying he’s being turned into a scapegoat.
He defended his group’s efforts on the vaccination process and called on Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley to resign.READ MORE: 'I Can't Believe It's Been Three Years:' Community Prepares To Remember, Reflect On Tree Of Life Shooting
“I’m calling for Farley to step down and be replaced,” Doroshin said.
The Drexel University graduate student made several bold statements during an eye-opening interview. Eyewitness News learned the City of Philadelphia gave Doroshin just weeks to open the mass vaccination site at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
“We did the job very quickly,” Doroshin said.
It also appears Philadelphia city leaders initially believed Philly Fighting COVID was doing a good job.
Doroshin provided Eyewitness News a letter sent to him by the city’s health department. It says, in part, “PFC has been very successful in running high throughput vaccine operations.”
That was on Jan 22. He also says the city wanted the group to open more mass vaccine sites.
“We were in negotiations to do stadiums,” Doroshin said.
But days later, the city announced it was suspending its relationship with Philly Fighting COVID because of concerns about clients’ privacy.
“The city needs a scapegoat for why they botched a vaccine effort and they probably think they’re embarrassed because a 22-year-old did a better job than they did,” Doroshin said.READ MORE: Philadelphia Officials Identify Man Killed In Overbook Police-Involved Shooting As 31-Year-Old Koffi Dzima
Then it was revealed Doroshin took home four doses of the vaccine and gave them to friends.
Now, Mayor Jim Kenney says corrective actions are being taken. Kenney tweeted, “I, like many Philadelphians, am disappointed by what transpired with Philly Fighting COVID.”
Doroshin says he would not do anything differently in this process.
“No, I would change nothing,” he said.
Doroshin also says he asked all of his staff to resign because some were receiving death threats, but he won’t step down as CEO.
“No, I’m not going to resign,” Doroshin said. “Why would I resign? This is my fight to fight.”
Doroshin added that law enforcement has yet to contact him and that he has nothing to hide.
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