Florida Governor Ron DeSantis fully disabused the narrative that he engaged in a pay-to-play scheme with Publix over the state’s vaccine rollout, but CBS’s “60 Minutes” deceptively edited out his remarks. Now, the state’s largest grocery store chain and a Democratic state official are coming to his defense.
“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 statement responding to the “60 Minutes” segment. “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.”
Similarly, former Democratic state Rep. Jared Moskowitz who is currently the director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management blasted “60 Minutes” over the segment.
“@60Minutes I said this before and I’ll say it again. @Publix was recommended by [FL Division of Emergency Management] and [Florida Dept. Health] as the other pharmacies were not ready to start,” Moskowitz tweeted. “Period! Full Stop! No one from the Governor[‘]s office suggested Publix. It’s just absolute malarkey.”
@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. https://t.co/obkqYcbrzt— Jared MASKowitz ?? (@JaredEMoskowitz) April 4, 2021
Liberal reporter Sharyn Alfonsi had confronted DeSantis at a press conference pushing the narrative that he engaged in a pay to play scheme.
“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 …. How is that not pay-to-play?” she asked.
But "60 Minutes" edited out nearly his entire response explaining the process.