Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is probably running for president in 2024 and he has consistently bucked the narrative on COVID-19 restrictions, which has made him the number one target of the liberal media. But a hit piece on DeSantis attempted by CBS’s 60 Minutes went awry when the network was caught selectively editing its interview with the governor, as well as leaving out vital information from its report.
DeSantis has won grudging praise from the media for how Florida responded to the pandemic. Florida’s death toll is lower per capita than New York’s while DeSantis has been able to keep the economy from collapsing by limiting lockdowns and easing restrictions in a timely, sensible manner.
So 60 Minutes went after DeSantis hoping to whittle him down to size before he can gain any momentum from his pandemic response. The effort failed miserably.
The report, which aired Sunday, outlined an alleged “pay-for-play” scheme involving DeSantis accepting a $100,000 donation [to] his campaign from the grocery store chain Publix in exchange for the right to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the state’s rollout.
Critics blasted the report for deceptive editing that omitted DeSantis’ explanation for the vaccine strategy, the omission of Publix’s donations to Democrats, and broadcasting misinformation that is even being called out by Florida liberals.
Indeed, Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz and Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, both of whom are Democrats, scolded CBS for trying to connect the donation to the decision to allow Publix to distribute the vaccine.
Side by side, the editing job is jarringly dishonest.
This is wild. Watch Ron DeSantis’s full answer on Publix, Walgreen’s and CVS vaccine distribution and look at the edited cut 60 Minutes used: pic.twitter.com/FqTRgOZS9Z
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 5, 2021
Moskowitz took to Twitter to categorically deny there was a connection.
In a Sunday night tweet directed at “60 Minutes,” Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz wrote, “I said this before and I’ll say it again. [Publix] was recommended by [Florida Division of Emergency Management] and [Florida Department of Public Health]. Period! Full stop!”
“No one from the Governors office suggested Publix,” Moskowitz added. “It’s just absolute malarkey.”
And Democratic Mayor Kerner felt it necessary to issue a strong statement denying the allegation.
Kerner accused “60 Minutes” of reporting “intentionally false” information, saying that the program knew DeSantis had met with him and that the county had been the entity to request “to expand the state’s partnership with Publix.”
DeSantis stated matter-of-factly that “It was done with malicious intent and a reckless disregard for the truth” and that just about sums it up.
But the lies continued. Incredibly, CBS tried to make an issue of DeSantis prioritizing seniors in distributing the vaccine.
“Florida’s rollout started pretty typically. The first doses were given to healthcare workers and nursing home residents in early December,” Alfonsi began. “But then, a few weeks later, Gov. Ron DeSantis, breaking from CDC guidelines, announced he would not vaccinate teachers and essential workers next but instead put seniors first, making anyone 65 and over eligible for the vaccine, the first in the country to do that.”
“DeSantis said seniors were at highest risk,” she added, implying that it was an unsubstantiated claim made by the governor rather than a response to data showing a higher death toll among older Americans.
About 80 percent of COVID deaths have occurred among those 65 or older.
How many lives did DeSantis save with that decision? More seniors live in Florida than every state but Maine — more than 4.5 million of them. How many lives did New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to allow COVID-positive patients in nursing homes snuff out? As many as 50,000, although the exact number isn’t known yet.
CBS never mentioned the viral controversy that has sprung up about the hit piece on DeSantis — a sure sign they’re trying to back away from it as quickly as possible.