Gov. Ron DeSantis’s administration has given more than $4 million in no-bid, coronavirus-related state contracts to a New York City-based social media startup co-founded and led by the son of a South Florida billionaire and prominent supporter of President Donald Trump.
The Florida Department of Health signed a $2.75 million contract with Twenty Labs, LLC in June to provide the state a software license for a “Healthy Together COVID-19 contact tracing customer relationship management platform,” basically software that supports the state’s contact tracing efforts.
More recently, the governor’s office signed a $1.5 million contract with Twenty Labs, which operates a COVID-19 mobile phone app called Healthy Together, to provide a “contract (sic) tracing application,” according to the state’s contract database.
In both cases, the company was chosen without the competitive solicitation process that state law normally requires for such large contracts. Both no-bid COVID contracts are listed in the state’s contract database as among Florida’s numerous “emergency purchases” per an emergency executive order from Republican DeSantis that allows state agencies to suspend normal purchasing regulations.