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Florida Gov. Rejects CBS Vaccine Report on ‘Paid Games’

ORLANDO, FLORIDA. (AP) – Florida Gov. Ron Desantis on Tuesday aggressively pushed back against the “60 Minutes” report, which suggests he initially made a deal to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to Publix Super Markets in South Florida after made a donation to its Political Action Committee.

The Republican governor warned of unspecified “repercussions” on a report aired by CBS on Sunday night, which was behind the story. The introduction focused on the spread of vaccines in Palm Beach, he said, adding that the spread of vaccines in Florida mainly benefited the wealthy and well-connected.

“These are dirty traders,” Desantis told a news conference in Panama. “They knew what they were doing was a lie.”

The governor said his office had offered to interview people for a report on the Florida vaccine distribution, but the news was denied. In the report, he called the accusations of “playing for money” “lies based on lies.”

A CBS statement said 60 Minutes had interviewed dozens of people about the story, asked DeSantis for denial, and Ared Ared Moskowitz, Florida Director of Emergency Management, who declined to be interviewed on camera. until the expiration date of the story.

“When data from the state of Florida found that people of color were vaccinated at a much slower rate than their wealthy neighbors, ’60 Minutes’ reported the spread of the vaccine, which is controlled by the governor,” CBS said in a statement. “The facts reported by ’60 Minutes’ for more than 50 years often provoked discussions and heated reactions. “Our story speaks for itself on Sunday night.”

On Monday, Dave Kerner, mayor of Palm Beach County, Democrat, issued a statement accusing him of using “deliberately false” information in “60 Minutes” to criticize DeSantis’ role in the Publix deal. The uncles said DeSantis had met with their county administrator before the announcement, and they asked DeSantis to “expand the state partnership with Publix” in the county.

“They had that information, they left it out because it was kneeling their story,” Kerner told 60 Minutes.

Responding to the mayor’s announcement, Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinley tweeted: “I respect the mayor, but that is not true.” He said district officials had never asked Publix to be the sole distributor of vaccines.

The government announced in January that Publix, the state’s largest supermarket chain, would have the sole right to distribute vaccines in a Palm Beach County decision that criticized McKinlay and some state lawmakers for not having a 40-mile (40-kilometer) network. mainly in poverty-stricken sugar farming communities on the shores of Lake Okechobe.

About 30,000 people live in Bell Glade and other nearby cities, including more than 6,500. 5000. At the time, McKinlay told the Associated Press and other media outlets that he was not opposed to Publix’s involvement in the distribution effort. He just wanted to make sure that the people of Bel Glade would also have easy access to the vaccines.

Within days, the state announced that it would set up a driving position in Bell Glade, just as it had done in many of the state’s wealthiest communities.

According to the state, about 17% of Florida residents are black, but they make up only 6.5% of the 6.4 million who have received at least one vaccine. Some of them reflect national reluctance to get the vaccine in some black communities due to past events, such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, where doctors tested their ancestors.

The 60 Minutes report said that weeks before the government announced its partnership with Publix, the supermarket chain had donated $ 100,000 to DeSantis’ Political Action Committee.

Moskovits, however, said last month that Publix had been taken because its pharmacies were the only ones able to distribute the vaccines. Since then, other major pharmacy chains have been offering vaccines.

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This report was provided by New York AP media writer David Boder.

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Follow Mike Schneider on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MikeSchneiderAP

Follow Terry Spencer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/terryspen

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