On Monday night, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed a “60 Minutes” report that aired Sunday that implied the Republican chose to work with Publix for vaccine distribution due to the company making donations to his political committee.
The “60 Minutes” report quickly became a subject of debate after viewers claimed that CBS News edited out a large portion of DeSantis’s explanation regarding vaccine distribution.
Even Democrats pushed back against “60 Minutes,” with the Democrat director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management and the Democrat mayor of Palm Beach County disputing claims against DeSantis.
DeSantis spoke on the controversy during an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson.
On Fox’s ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’, Gov. DeSantis slams “reckless” CBS ’60 Minutes’ report and defends vaccine deal with grocery chain pic.twitter.com/oPA26KAReM
DeSantis On ’60 Minutes’ Report: ‘They Don’t Believe In Facts’
“They don’t believe in facts,” DeSantis told Carlson. “It was a political narrative.”
“They would not talk to the people that were most relevant to this because they know those key Democrats would blow up their narrative,” DeSantis insisted. “So they put their head in the sand and pretended like those fact didn’t exist.”
DeSantis said “60 Minutes” created “a baseless conspiracy theory that was easily debunked” and noted that two Florida Democrats agreed with him.
On Monday, Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, a Democrat, said that the “60 Minutes” report was “intentionally false.”
Palm Beach County (Democratic) Mayor Dave Kerner: “I watched the 60 Minutes segment on Palm Beach County last night and feel compelled to issue this statement. The report was not just based on bad information — it was intentionally false.” https://t.co/pscThUQ4r5pic.twitter.com/28LC23x7UC
DeSantis On His State’s COVID Vaccine Success: ‘They Didn’t Want To Discuss That’
“The reporting was not just based on bad information – it was intentionally false,” Kerner said in a statement.
“I know this because I offered to provide my insight into Palm Beach County’s vaccination efforts and ’60 Minutes’ declined,” Kerner added.
Gov. DeSantis told Carlson that Florida had vaccinated “3.5 million senior citizens” and accused “60 Minutes” of not wanting “to discuss that.”
“We were the first state to say, ‘we’re doing seniors first,” DeSantis said. “We’re not going to follow the CDC’s recommendation.”
“And what we have done has worked,” he added.
“They didn’t want to discuss that and obviously they selectively edited the background,” DeSantis noted.
Fox News tonight is defending DeSantis from the 60 mins special during every hour — with Tucker Carlson, who says he didn’t actually watch the special, saying the 60 mins report was “a transparent political move” and meant to “stop Ron DeSantis before he gets bigger”
Carlson Said ’60 Minutes’ Wanted To ‘Crush’ The Governor
On Publix, DeSantis observed, “They tried to act like there was a conspiracy with Publix, ignoring the fact that other pharmacies were involved before Publix, doing all our long-term care facilities.”
“They didn’t tell you that,” DeSantis said..
Carlson suggested that “60 Minutes” was trying to “crush” DeSantis precisely because the vaccine rollout in his state has been successful during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fox News reports that CBS has so far given no indication they will correct or retract their report.
Instead, they defended their report by showing Fox News a tweet by Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, which disputes Mayor Kerner’s claims:
I respect Mayor but this is NOT accurate. Facts:
1. Gov said he met w everyone in PBC. He did not.
2. Kerner told me he was told by Gov staff to keep mtg private
3. Kerner & Baker told me they never asked for Publix sole distribution.
WE NEVER ASKED FOR SOLE DISTRIBUTION! 1/2 https://t.co/8MVUa4gKjJ