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DeSantis Strongly Rebuts '60 Minutes' Report On Publix Vaccine Distribution

Two prominent Florida Democrats also criticized the CBS report, which the governor called "lies built on lies" and warned of unspecified “consequences."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed back aggressively against a “60 Minutes” report that suggested he initially made a deal to distribute COVID-19 vaccines in Palm Beach County at Publix pharmacies after the company made a donation to his political action committee.

“These are smear merchants,” DeSantis said of the "60 Minutes" report during a news conference in Panama City. “They knew what they were doing was a lie.”

The Republican governor on Tuesday warned of unspecified “consequences” over the report that aired on CBS.

Sunday night's report focused on the vaccine rollout in Palm Beach County and also suggested Florida’s vaccine distribution had generally favored the wealthy and well-connected.

DeSantis called the “pay-to-play” allegations in the report, “lies built on lies.”

CBS stood by the story and said in a statement that “60 Minutes” interviewed dozens of people about the story and requested an interview with DeSantis, who declined.

Two Democrats, state Director of Emergency Management Jared Moskowitz and Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner, also criticized the CBS report.

"The reporting was not just based on bad information - it was intentionally false," Kersen said in a statement. "I know this because I offered to provide my insight into Palm Beach County's vaccination efforts and 60 Minutes declined."

In a tweet, Moskowitz wrote, " I did speak with @60Minutes. Never said I didn’t. They were very nice, but I told them that the @publix story was “bull——”. Walked them through the whole process.The fact that I didn’t sit down on “camera” because I am responding to a 100 year emergency doesn’t change the truth."

Click here to read more on this story from the Associated Press.

Copyright 2021 Health News Florida