Publix and the Democrat Palm Beach County Mayor are pushing back on a 60 Minutes report that falsely accused Governor Ron Desantis of being in the pocket of Publix.
Publix released this 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.”
DeSantis on Tucker
Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner said the “60 Minutes” report was based on “bad information” and called it “intentionally false.” Factual statements from DeSantis were deliberately edited out according to the footage left on the editing room floor.
The story put into question why Gov. Ron DeSantis chose Publix to distribute the vaccine.
“60 Minutes” obtained campaign finance reports that show Publix donated $100,000 to the governor’s political action committee before the vaccine distribution.
The report also said the heiress to the Publix fortune previously gave $55,000 to the governor’s PAC.
Publix pushed back on that narrative Monday morning, issuing a statement on the matter.
Here’s Publix’s full statement:
— Publix (@Publix) April 5, 2021
Kerner said he offered to provide his insight into Palm Beach County’s vaccination efforts but “60 Minutes” declined.
“’60 Minutes’ should be ashamed,” Kerner said in a written statement. “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.”
Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, whose district includes the Glades, said vaccine access has been a problem for the western communities.
“The main concern for me has always been the decision to utilize Publix and the sole distributor of vaccines in Palm Beach County,” McKinlay said.
DeSantis says the state set up vaccination pods in Pahokee and Belle Glade at churches to provide vaccines to the residents near Lake Okeechobee who would otherwise have to drive 25 miles to the nearest Publix.
Outgoing Florida Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz once again also refuted that Publix was given preferential treatment for vaccine distribution.
“I said this before and I’ll say it again. Publix was recommended by Florida Division of Emergency Management and Florida Department of Health as the other pharmacies were not ready to start. Period! Full Stop!” Moskowitz tweeted Sunday night. “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