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There are two loci of corruption in America: Academia and the media. Academia churns out legions of indoctrinated young people, and the media churn out lies. The latest example is the way that CBS edited a press conference that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held to make it appear that he had granted vaccination rights to the Publix grocery store chain in exchange for campaign donations.
To the media’s dismay, Florida sailed through the COVID panic because it didn’t panic. Governor Ron DeSantis made the logical decision when the disease hit America to protect the vulnerable and to allow all the others in his state to get on with their lives. To the Democrats’ chagrin, at the end of the day, Florida did no worse than the lockdown states, while preserving both its economy and its civil liberties.
Because of his competence, conservatives are turning longing eyes to DeSantis as a possible Republican contender in 2024. The media, of course, must destroy him. In addition to repeatedly and falsely implying that Florida handled COVID badly and is a hotbed of disease, the media are now attacking DeSantis directly.
Most recently, CBS’s 60 Minutes, openly accused DeSantis of a pay-to-play scheme with Publix, giving the latter the right to distribute vaccinations in exchange for a $100,000 campaign donation. You can see the set-up in the string of three tweets, below, which culminate in ostensible footage of an angry DeSantis baselessly swatting aside Sharyn Alfonsi’s challenging questions:
In a statement to 60 Minutes, Publix says there is no connection between the supermarket chain’s campaign contributions and its partnership with the state to administer the vaccine. The company’s full statement can be read here: https://t.co/gyrW9hYPTg
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) April 4, 2021
“What you’re saying is wrong,” Gov DeSantis tells Sharyn Alfonsi in response to a question about whether the Publix grocery store chain gained influence through a campaign donation on his behalf. “It’s wrong. It’s a fake narrative,” he says. https://t.co/gyrW9hYPTg pic.twitter.com/5rBq7v5VOA
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) April 4, 2021
Guilty, guilty, guilty, right? Incidentally, the segment is also meant to strike a blow at Publix, a well-known, high-end Southeastern grocery store chain. I happen to like Publix a lot. Not only is it near my house but Publix, unlike Walmart, is generally conservative in its political donations. (And please note that political donations having nothing to do with pay-to-play.)
Well, it turns out that CBS forgot to include a few things when it put together that footage of a contentious exchange between the “brave” Alfonsi and the “evil” Republican governor. In fact, DeSantis carefully explained to the assembled media the decision-making behind choosing Publix to disburse vaccinations:
So, first of all, when we did, the first pharmacies that had it were CVS and Walgreens. And they had a long-term care mission. So they were going to the long term care facilities. They got vaccine in the middle of December, they started going to the long-term care facilities the third week of December to do LTCs. So that was their mission. That was very important. And we trusted them to do that. As we got into January, we wanted to expand the distribution points. So yes, you had the counties, you had some drive through sites, you had hospitals that were doing a lot, but we wanted to get it into communities more. So, we reached out to other retail pharmacies — Publix, Walmart — obviously CVS and Walgreens had to finish that mission. And we said, we’re going to use you as soon as you’re done with that. For the Publix, they were the first one to raise their hand, say they were ready to go. And you know what, we did it on a trial basis. I had three counties. I actually showed up that weekend and talked to seniors across four different Publix. How was the experience? Is this good? Should you think this is a way to go? And it was 100% positive. So, we expanded it, and then folks liked it. And I can tell you, if you look at a place like Palm Beach County, they were kind of struggling at first in terms of the senior numbers.
DeSantis explained too, that at a meeting with the Palm Beach County mayor, administration, and other “folks,” one of the things they calculated was “that 90% of their seniors live within a mile and a half a Publix.” The ultimate calculation, therefore, was what would be easiest for residents:
So, we did that, and what ended up happening was, you had 65 Publix in Palm Beach. Palm Beach is one of the biggest counties, one of the most elderly counties, we’ve done almost 75% of the seniors in Palm Beach, and the reason is because you have the strong retail footprint. So, our way has been multifaceted. It has worked. And we’re also now very much expanding CVS and Walgreens, now that they’ve completed the long-term care mission.
Things take on a very different complexion when the media outlet isn’t committing fraud by omission. DeSantis had a carefully thought-out plan to optimize elderly citizens’ access to vaccines. And 60 Minutes had a carefully thought-out plan to omit material details in order to slander both DeSantis and Publix as corrupt. In a just world, the American media would be given the same level of respect as a street corner three-card-monte hustler.