Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, April 5, 2021
In today’s corporate media climate, it is only fitting that 60 Minutes would create a false scandal while ignoring a real one.
The so-called “news program” has yet to report on New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s nursing homes scandal in which a large number of seniors lost their lives.
Over Easter weekend, the CBS “news” program released a clip from a March press conference in which its on-air personality, Sharyn Alfonsi, says that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis supposedly gave Publix supermarkets priority to distribute the Covid vaccine in exchange for a large donation to the governor’s campaign.
With over 800 supermarkets in Florida, Publix is a logical outlet for distributing the coronavirus vaccine.
But DeSantis is a Republican governor who is considered by many to be a solid big ticket candidate in the future.
The leftist corporate media doesn’t like that, so they have placed DeSantis squarely in their crosshairs.
Though Publix and several Florida officials, including Democrats, have unequivocally stated that the 60 Minutes report is false, the corporate media wasted no time in spreading the lie.
In the deceptively edited 60 Minutes clip, Alfonsi says to DeSantis: “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 –”
“First, of all what you’re saying is wrong,” DeSantis fires back.
“How is that not pay for play?” Alfonsi shouts back.
“That’s a fake narrative,” DeSantis explains. “I met with the county mayor, I met with the administrator, I met with all the folks at Palm Beach County and I said, ‘Here’s some of the options: We can do more drive-thru sites, we can give more to hospitals, we can do the Publix.’ And they said, ‘We think that would be the easiest thing for our residents.’”
Alfonsi shouts back that Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay says DeSantis “never met with her about the Publix deal.” She then heckles the governor: “The criticism here is that is pay for play, governor!”
“And it’s wrong, it’s wrong,” DeSantis replies. “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.”
As Breitbart’s John Nolte notes: “By design, DeSantis looks ridiculous in the 60 Minutes clip, like he’s claiming a victory he didn’t earn, like he’s just shouting words like ‘disabused’ and ‘facts’ and ‘irrefutable’ hoping that will make it so.”
But 60 Minutes deceptively edited the full and comprehensive answer DeSantis provided to Alfonsi.
The full video (which was first located by Twitter user @AGHamilton29), was summarized by Fox News using a YouTube video of the unedited clip. (It is not surprising that the video disappeared from YouTube last night).
Here’s the Fox summary of DeSantis’ full answer:
“First of all, the first pharmacies that had [the vaccine] 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 in December to do LTCs,” DeSantis told Alfonsi. “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-thru 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,” DeSantis continued.
DeSantis added that Publix was the “first one to raise their hand” and to say they were ready to distribute the vaccine. The vaccine was then rolled out on a “trial basis” in three counties. Seniors gave the rollout “100% positive” feedback.
Jared Moskowitz, the former head of Florida’s emergency management agency — a Democrat — stated that the 60 Minutes report was garbage, tweeting: “@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.”
Publix also debunked the 60 Minutes report:
“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. 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,” a Publix spokesperson told Fox News.
Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, a Democrat, accused 60 Minutes of “intentionally false” reporting for suggesting DeSantis gave Publix preferable treatment to offer the coronavirus vaccine because of donations to his PAC.
“The reporting was not just based on bad information – it was intentionally false,” Kerner said in a statement on Monday. “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 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,” Kerner continued, adding that the program left his side of the story out because it “kneecaps their narrative.”
Kerner thanked DeSantis for his work to help Palm Beach County.
“Because of his efforts, working in coordination with Palm Beach County officials, over 275,000 seniors in our county – which is over 75% of the total senior population – have been vaccinated. I am proud of how our county and state leadership have executed on this important mission, and the results speak for themselves,” Kerner said.