DeSantis Slams ’60 Minutes’ Hit Piece: “It Was Done With Malicious Intent And A Reckless Disregard For Truth”

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) responded to ’60 Minutes’ in an interview Monday with FOX News host Tucker Carlson after the news program aired a report Sunday night that deceptively edited an exchange he had with a CBS correspondent and suggested he is involved in a COVID vaccine distribution pay-to-play scheme with Publix.

Publix, a private company based in Florida, has played a major role in distributing the COVID vaccine to Florida residents. ’60 Minutes’ shared with the audience that DeSantis received political donations from Publix, leading viewers to believe that played a part in Publix’s involvement with vaccine distribution. The segment also featured a rural town inhabited mostly by minorities that is 30 minutes away from the nearest Publix, furthering the narrative. The vaccine is available at most pharmacies including CVS and Walgreens, and there are vaccine stations all over the state.

“We vaccinated now 3.5 million senior citizens,” DeSantis said on FOX News. “We were the first state to say we’re doing seniors first. We’re not going to follow the CDC’s recommendation. What we have done has worked. They didn’t want to discuss that. And obviously, they selectively edited the background. They tried to act like there was a conspiracy with Publix, ignoring the fact that other pharmacies were involved before Publix, doing all our long-term care facilities, ignoring the fact that I met with the county mayor who is a Democrat that said what ’60 Minutes’ has done is bunk. Palm Beach calculated 90% of their seniors live within 1 1/2 miles of a Publix. So when we put it in there, their numbers started going through the roof. So it succeeded there. What they didn’t tell you also, is when there was a need in a more rural part of the county, like near Lake Okeechobee, we set up a separate site in a small town called Pahokee. They didn’t tell you that.”

“They didn’t tell you we were doing African-American church vaccination drives before Publix ever gave a single shot. They didn’t tell you that,” he said. They didn’t tell you that hospitals were doing shots starting in the third week of December because it didn’t fit the narrative.”

“They don’t believe in facts,” DeSantis told Carlson. “It was a political narrative. It was done with malicious intent and a reckless disregard for the truth. They would not talk to the people who were the most relevant to this because they know those key Democrats – Jared Moskowitz, Mayor Dave Kerner – would blow up their narrative. So they just put their head in the sand and pretended like those facts didn’t exist.”

“Now since we’ve vaccinated so many seniors, we are seeing the hospitalizations among seniors plummet,” DeSantis touted. “So what we did has worked. Obviously, they were in Florida for three months, ’60 Minutes’ trying to drudge up any dirt that they could use to smear me. And the best they could come up with is a baseless conspiracy theory that was easily debunked not just by me, which they had to edit out, but by two very prominent Democrats in the state of Florida.”