|60 Minutes tried to put a fake news smear job over on DeSantis, but Florida Democrats and Publix came to Ron's defense.|
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(Updated): 'Absolute malarkey': '60 Minutes' airs deceptively edited segment accusing Gov. Ron DeSantis of corruption
Updated 4/5/2021, 3:45 p.m. ET: The Democratic mayor of Palm Beach County, Dave Kerner, on Monday said he felt "compelled" to issue a statement after watching the "60 Minutes" segment featuring Gov. Ron DeSantis and vaccination efforts in the county.
"The reporting was not just based on bad information — it was intentionally false," Kerner said. "I know this because I offered to provide my insight into Palm Beach County's vaccination efforts and 60 minutes declined. They know that the Governor came to Palm Beach County and met with me and the County Administrator and we asked to expand the state's partnership with Publix to Palm Beach County. We also discussed our own local plans to expand mass vaccination centers throughout the county, which the Governor has been incredibly supportive. We asked and he delivered. They had that information, and they left it out because it kneecaps their narrative.
"We have confronted this pandemic for over a year. Our residents, like all Americans, are tired. And the media is making it worse. They are hellbent on dividing us for cheap views and clicks. 60 Minutes should be ashamed," he continued.
CBS News' "60 Minutes" was blasted on Sunday by a top Democratic official in Florida and the state's largest grocery store chain after it aired a deceptively edited segment insinuating that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) engaged in a "pay to play" scheme with COVID-19 vaccine distribution.
On Sunday evening, CBS News' Sharyn Alfonsi reported that DeSantis received a $100,000 donation to his PAC from Publix grocery stores, which later partnered with the state to distribute COVID-19 vaccines. "60 Minutes" aired a clip of Alfonsi confronting DeSantis at a new conference south of Orlando, accusing the governor of "pay to play" by giving Publix exclusive rights to distribute the vaccine after he received that donation.
The governor said Alfonsi was "wrong" and spreading a "fake narrative" and proceeded to correct the record, but his long answer was cut out of the segment by CBS News' editors.
The Daily Wire reported the transcript of the segment, highlighting in bold the parts of DeSantis' answer that were edited out of the clip.
Sharyn Alfonsi: Publix, as you know, donated $100,000 to your campaign, and then you rewarded them with the exclusive rights to distribute the vaccination in Palm Beach—
"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 scathing statement provided to "60 Minutes."
"We are proud of our pharmacy associates for administering more than 1.5 million doses of vaccine to date and for joining other retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to do our part to help our communities emerge from the pandemic," the grocery store said.
Florida's director of emergency management, Jared Moskowitz, the Democratic state official responsible for directing the response to the pandemic under Gov. DeSantis, came to the governor's defense and called Alfonsi's narrative "absolute malarkey."
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