Ron DeSantis denies Publix vaccine “pay for play” scheme; GOP cries foul against CBS – By Zachary Petrizzo (Salon) / April 5 2021
Right-wing media and conservative Twitter users flock to Florida governor’s defense after “60 Minutes” report
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has strongly denied suggestions in a Sunday night broadcast of CBS’ “60 Minutes” that the rising Republican star took part in a pay-for-play scheme, allocating coronavirus vaccine doses designated to the state to major donors, including the Publix supermarket chain, which had previously cut his campaign a $100,000 donation.
“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,” CBS reporter Sharyn Alfonsi stated at a recent DeSantis press conference, which was featured in the “60 Minutes” segment.
Campaign finance reports obtained by 60 Minutes show that weeks before Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a partnership with Publix grocery stores to distribute the vaccine in its pharmacies, Publix donated $100,000 to his PAC. https://t.co/bS3ZBeET1W pic.twitter.com/BSUlpVbXSP
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) April 4, 2021
DeSantis responded to Alfonsi by saying her question was based on calling a “fake narrative.” “So first of all, what you’re saying is wrong,” the Florida governor replied. “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’s some of the options. We can do more drive-through 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.'”