Tuesday, April 06, 2021
The fallout from a "60 Minutes" report on Florida's vaccine distribution continued Tuesday when Gov. Ron DeSantis used a news conference to discuss hurricane funding in the Panhandle to attack corporate media and threaten retribution against CBS News. "60 Minutes" has faced backlash for a story it aired Sunday on DeSantis that also referenced supermarket chain Publix and two prominent Democrats in the state. The report, which looked at what it called a "chaotic" vaccine rollout in Florida, suggested Publix and DeSantis engaged in a "pay-for-play" arrangement with Publix getting early access to vaccines after the chain donated $100,000 to his political action committee, Friends of Ron DeSantis.
DeSantis called the story " which also focused on the inequities of the vaccine distribution in Florida and allegations that DeSantis was discriminating when he hand-picked wealthy communities for pop-up sites across the state " a "piece of horse manure."
After the story aired, Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, a Democrat leaving the state soon, responded with a tweet taking responsibility for the decision to contract with Publix.
"I know corporate media thinks that they can just run over people, ya ain't running over this governor," DeSantis said. "I'm punching back and I'm going to continue to do it until these smear merchants are held accountable."
Publix also denied the link.
"The irresponsible suggestion that there was a connection between campaign contributions made to Governor DeSantis and our willingness to join other pharmacies in support of the state's vaccine distribution efforts is absolutely false and offensive," Publix said in a statement Monday.
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