Ron DeSantis slams '60 Minutes' for deceptively editing vaccine rollout response: 'It's a political narrative'
The Sunshine State governor accused the television program of creating a 'political narrative' over his handling of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has lashed out at CBS's long-running newsmagazine '60 Minutes' after it reportedly deceptively edited his interaction with reporter Sharyn Alfonsi. The Sunshine State governor accused the television program of creating a "political narrative" over his handling of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout.
DeSantis appeared on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ where he alleged that CBS edited out major portions of his interview with Alfonsi where he answered her questions about Publix. The journalist had accused him of giving the supermarket company exclusive rights to distribute vaccines in Palm Beach County in exchange for receiving $100,000 as a political donation.
"What you're saying is wrong," Gov DeSantis tells Sharyn Alfonsi in response to a question about whether the Publix grocery store chain gained influence through a campaign donation on his behalf. "It's wrong. It's a fake narrative," he says. https://t.co/gyrW9hYPTg pic.twitter.com/5rBq7v5VOA— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) April 4, 2021
DeSantis angrily said '60 Minutes' removed the crucial part of the interaction as he put the issue in context. He told Carlson, “[What's] lost in this is that we vaccinated now 3.5 million senior citizens. We’re the first state to say we’re doing seniors first. We’re not going to follow the CDC’s recommendation. What we have done has worked. They didn’t want to discuss that. Obviously they selectively edited the background. They tried to act like there was a conspiracy with Publix.”
The 42-year-old added, “They ignored the fact that I met with the county mayor who is a Democrat that said what ‘60 minutes’ has done is bunk. They didn’t tell you we were doing African American church [vaccine] drives before Publix gave a single shot. They didn’t tell you that hospitals were doing shots starting in the third week of December -- because it didn’t fit the narrative. They don’t believe in facts. It was a political narrative.”
The Daily Wire in a report stated in detail what was edited out by CBS after the exchange between DeSantis and Alfonsi happened a few weeks ago. When the CBS reporter tried to imply that the Florida governor gave Publix a contract to host vaccinations in exchange for money, DeSantis immediately denied it and called it a “fake narrative”.
However, a major portion of his response was not included in the program. The omitted words were, “So, first of all, when we did, the first pharmacies that had it were CVS and Walgreens. And they had a long-term care mission. So they were going to the long-term care facilities. They got the vaccine in the middle of December, they started going to the long-term care facilities the third week of December to do LTCs. So that was their mission. That was very important. And we trusted them to do that. As we got into January, we wanted to expand the distribution points. So, yes, you had the counties, you had some drive-through sites, you had hospitals that were doing a lot, but we wanted to get it into communities more. So we reached out to other retail pharmacies — Publix, Walmart — obviously CVS and Walgreens had to finish that mission. And we said, we’re going to use you as soon as you’re done with that. For Publix, they were the first one to raise their hand, say they were ready to go. And you know what, we did it on a trial basis. I had three counties. I actually showed up that weekend and talked to seniors across four different Publix. How was the experience? Is this good? Should you think this is a way to go? And it was 100% positive. So we expanded it, and then folks liked it. And I can tell you, if you look at a place like Palm Beach County, they were kind of struggling at first in terms of the senior numbers.”
DeSantis’ response to Alfonsi also added, “They [authorities in Palm Beach County] calculated that 90% of their seniors live within a mile and a half of a Publix. So, we did that, and what ended up happening was, you had 65 Publix in Palm Beach. Palm Beach is one of the biggest counties, one of the most elderly counties, we’ve done almost 75% of the seniors in Palm Beach, and the reason is because you have the strong retail footprint. So our way has been multifaceted. It has worked. And we’re also now very much expanding CVS and Walgreens, now that they’ve completed the long term care mission.”
The Democratic director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Jared Moskowitz, and Democratic county mayor of Palm Beach County, Dave Kerner, backed the governor, saying that partnering with Publix was not suggested by anyone from DeSantis' office.
Publix also issued a statement criticizing the assertion, but withoyt mentioning '60 Minutes' by name. "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 Monday.
Several people on Twitter also have reacted to the news as one user said, “@60Minutes @CBS @CBSNews what a disgrace you are. Never in my lifetime did I ever think 60 minutes would edit a story to represent a completely different narrative. #sham #Disgraceful.” Another user wrote, “His body language shows no deception. The film edit OTOH is completely different from his narrative. Everyone @CBS and @60Minutes involved, should be required to answer for this and lose their jobs.”
“CBS edits video of DeSantis to make him look bad. He has a target on his back cuz he's a threat to the left & must be destroyed! @CBSNews @60Minutes,” a third user added.
@60Minutes @CBS @CBSNews what a disgrace you are. Never in my lifetime did I ever think 60 minutes would edit a story to represent a completely different narrative. #sham #Disgraceful https://t.co/pymjbQtW3A— Andrew (@asett33) April 6, 2021
His body language shows no deception. The film edit OTOH is completely different from his narrative. Everyone @CBS and @60Minutes involved, should be required to answer for this and lose their jobs. https://t.co/sok5g14qdl— Antifa Special Ops Black Helicopter Driver (@justexcel) April 6, 2021
Below is the full version of DeSantis' response.