Democrat Mayor Defends Governor Ron DeSantis After ’60 Minutes’ Report

Written by Carmine Sabia

OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion

The mainstream media is biased against Republicans, that is not new news. But what is new news is when a Democrat calls them on it and defends the Republican.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, clashed with a CBS “60 Minutes” reporter in a segment that aired on Sunday but the governor, and now Democrat Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner, called the program on its shoddy reporting after the mainstream media parroted the talking points, Fox News reported.

The “60 Minutes” report has drawn criticism from Democratic state officials and conservative media members alike, but the criticism has been ignored when covered by other outlets.

Director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management Jared Moskowitz, who is a Democrat, took to Twitter to blast the notion that DeSantis gave special access to Publix, calling it “absolute malarkey.”

Axios published a report, “Florida governor clashes with ‘60 Minutes’ over COVID vaccine rollout,” and cited “60 Minutes” without mentioning the massive backlash the segment has received or Moskowitz’s denial. The Drudge Report had a massive headline declaring DeSantis had been “accused of pay for play, for much of Monday morning that linked to the Axios story.

“60 Minutes” was also accused of deceptively editing a heated exchange between one of its correspondents and Gov. DeSantis that didn’t include the governor’s entire response to a question about the alleged scheme.

“Publix, as you know, donated $100,000 to your campaign and then you rewarded them with the exclusive rights to distribute the vaccine in Palm Beach,” reporter Sharyn Alfonsi said.

“So first of all what you’re saying is wrong,” DeSantis said. “That’s a fake narrative. … 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 are 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.'”

The reporter pressed DeSantis on the question, calling it a “pay for play” scheme.

“It’s wrong, it’s a fake narrative,” the governor said. “I just disabused you of the narrative and you don’t care about the facts because obviously I just laid it out for you in a way that is irrefutable. So clearly it’s not.”

And on Monday Kerner issues a press release that took “60 Minutes” to task.

“I watched the 60 Minutes segment on Palm Beach County last night and feel compelled to issue this statement. 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. 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 also discussed our own local plans to expand mass vaccination centers throughout the county, of which the Governor has been incredibly supportive. We asked and he delivered. They had that information, and they left it out because it kneecaps their narrative,” the Democrat mayor said.

“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. I thank the Governor for supporting the residents of 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 this important mission, and the results speak for themselves,” he said.