PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Governor Ron DeSantis fired back after a report by CBS’s “60 Minutes” criticized Florida’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
During a news conference addressing Hurricane Michael recovery at the Bay County Government Center, the governor dubbed the report and its suggestions as “horse manure.”
In the 60 Minutes report, Florida’s vaccination roll-out plan was criticized for being a “pay-to-play” system involving grocery store and pharmacy chain Publix.
“We offered them the information, and they declined to interview the key people because they didn’t want to let go of the narrative,” Governor DeSantis said. “Well, guess what? There’s gonna be consequences for that.”
The report pointed out Publix’s campaign contributions to Governor DeSantis. The chain released a statement:
“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.”Publix Super Markets Inc. via Twitter
During Tuesday’s conference, Governor DeSantis also went on to call the people of “60 Minutes” “smear merchants.”
“What they’re saying is a total crock that somehow only Publix was getting it,” Governor DeSantis said. “It’s nonsense, and we told them it was that, and they cut it out, they spliced it, because they can’t handle the truth.”