Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis calls out ’60 Minutes’ for cutting large portions of his vaccine distribution answer

ron desantis florida vaccine 60 minutes
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

  • Florida’s governor is taking CBS’s “60 Minutes” to task after a segment aired on Sunday.
  • CBS defended the package, which linked DeSantis donations to a grocery store vaccine deal.
  • The Publix grocery chain said the program made an “irresponsible suggestion” of pay-to-play.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized a “60 Minutes” segment that omitted large portions of his explanation of how a grocery store chain got approved for vaccine distribution in Palm Beach County.

The story focused on the Sunshine State’s vaccine rollout and a recent $100,000 donation from the Publix supermarket chain to DeSantis’ next gubernatorial campaign in 2022. Publix partnered with the state to administer vaccines in Palm Beach County as eligibility opened up.

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, CBS defended the package, which was reported by correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi.

“We requested an interview with Gov. Ron DeSantis, he declined; We spoke to State Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz twice, but he declined to be interviewed on camera for our story until well after our deadline,” the CBS spokesperson wrote in the statement. “The idea we ignored their perspective is untrue.”

DeSantis’ office released a statement disputing the framing of the CBS segment.

“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,” a DeSantis spokesperson said in the statement on Monday.

The Democratic mayor of Palm Beach County, David Kerner, came to the Republican governor’s defense.

“I watched the 60 Minutes segment on Palm Beach County last night and feel compelled to issue this statement,” Kerner said on Monday. “The reporting was not just based on bad information – it was intentionally false.”

Kerner said he offered to provide his “insight” into how the deal went down, but “60 Minutes” declined.

Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, also a Democrat, tweeted at the show to express his discontent in how the segment turned out.

In the CBS statement released on Tuesday, the network spokesperson said Kerner was interviewed for the story.

“Counter to his statement yesterday, we also spoke on the record with Palm Beach County Mayor David Kerner. For over 50 years, the facts reported by 60 Minutes have often stirred debate and prompted strong reactions. Our story Sunday night speaks for itself.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

Publix offers $125 gift cards to workers who receive the COVID-19 vaccine

Publix grocery store night
  • Employees have to show proof of vaccination and fill out an internal form to receive the gift cards.
  • Publix was among the first to partner with Florida to distribute the Moderna vaccine, a spokesperson told Insider.
  • Workers don’t have to receive the vaccine from Publix Pharmacy.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Publix Supermarkets will offer $125 gift cards to employees who get the manufacturer-recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the company said.

Employees must show proof of vaccination and fill out an internal form to receive the gift cards, but they don’t have to receive the vaccine at a Publix Pharmacy, according to a press release.

“We care about our associates and customers and believe getting vaccinated can help us take one step closer to getting back to normal,” said Publix CEO Todd Jones in the press release. “We’re encouraging our associates to get vaccinated when they become eligible and doses are available.”

The popular Southern grocery chain has more than 1,200 locations, with the bulk of them in Florida. The company has grown into the largest employee-owned company in the US.

Publix was among the first to partner with the state of Florida after the initial request to distribute the Moderna vaccine, a company spokesperson told Insider.

The supermarket joins a growing list of employers who have offered incentives to workers who receive the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine. 

Target said earlier this month that it will offer four hours of paid time off and pay for Lyft rides for workers to get vaccinated, while Kroger said that it will pay $100 to workers who receive the full manufacturer-recommended vaccine doses.

Other companies have made similar incentives available to employees who get vaccinated.

The two-dose vaccines, including one from Pfizer-BioNtech and another from Moderna, received FDA approval in December. Around 34 million people have received one or more doses since the vaccine approval.

People who are vulnerable to severe COVID-19, like older people, those with other medical conditions, and “essential” workers, including doctors, nurses and grocery workers, have been prioritized, depending on the state.

The vaccine’s initial rollout in the US was laden with delays. The timeline for when COVID-19 vaccines will be available to everyone in the US has slipped into May or possibly June, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medial advisor, told CNN this week.

Appointments for the vaccine have moved mostly online, but those without internet access or internet savvy are struggling to sign up for their shots, Insider reported Saturday. The people who lack access and time to sign up for the vaccine are the same as those most at risk for contracting and dying from the disease: minorities, homeless, and elderly Americans. 

Read the original article on Business Insider