Dem Florida Mayor Says DeSantis Story Intentionally False: “60 Minutes should be ashamed”

Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, a Democrat mind you, just blasted 60 Minutes for the botched hit job on Governor Ron DeSantis. 60 Minutes ran a piece trying to smear DeSantis as a pay-to-play corrupt politician and it backfired when two Democrats defended him and called out the news program.

Kerner said, “The reporting was not just based on bad information — it was intentionally false. I know this because I offered to provide my insight into Palm Beach County’s vaccination efforts and “60 Minutes” declined.”

“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.”

Yesterday, a former Dem lawmaker from Florida and current state official, Jared Moskowitz, and Publix, the grocery chain getting smeared too, denounced the 60 Minutes hit job on Governor Ron DeSantis. 

“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. “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.”

Former Florida State Representative Jared Moskowitz, said:

“@60Minutes I said this before and I’ll say it again. @Publix was recommended by @FLSERT

and @HealthyFla as the other pharmacies were not ready to start. Period! Full Stop! No one from the Governors office suggested Publix. It’s just absolute malarkey.”

“This idea why @Publix was picked has been utter nonsense. We reached out to all pharmacies and they were the only one who at the time could execute on the mission. The federal government delayed the federal pharmacy program and we yet again stepped up first to serve more seniors twitter.com/MiamiHerald/st…”

Below is the transcript of the conversation – the words in bold were cut out by CBS News.

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—

Ron DeSantis: So, first of all, that — what you’re saying is wrong. That’s—

Sharyn Alfonsi: How is that not pay-to-play?

Ron DeSantis: —that, that’s a fake narrative. 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. I went, I met with the county mayor. I met with the administrator. I met with all the folks in Palm Beach County, and I said, “Here’s some of the options: we can do more drive-through sites, we can give more to hospitals, we can do the Publix, we can do this.” They calculated that 90% of their seniors live within a mile and a half of a Publix. And they said, “We think that would be the easiest thing for our residents.”

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. 

Sharyn Alfonsi: The criticism is that it’s pay-to-play, governor.

Ron DeSantis: And it’s wrong. It’s wrong. It’s a fake narrative. I just disabused you of the narrative. And you don’t care about the facts. Because, obviously, I laid it out for you in a way that is irrefutable.

Sharyn Alfonsi: Well, I— I was just—

Ron DeSantis: And, so, it’s clearly not.

Sharyn Alfonsi: Isn’t there the nearest Publix —

Ron DeSantis: No, no, no. You’re wrong.

Sharyn Alfonsi: —30 miles away.

Ron DeSantis: You’re wrong. You’re wrong. Yes, sir?

Sharyn Alfonsi: That’s actually a fact.

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