Headline RoundupApril 7th, 2021

Perspectives: Ron DeSantis Criticizes '60 Minutes' For Report

Summary from the AllSides News Team

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called CBS News journalists "smear merchants" who spread a "horse manure" narrative after CBS aired a 60 Minutes report that criticized DeSantis's vaccine rollout and alleged he funneled vaccines to rich communities while using a privatized system that benefited political donors. "These are smear merchants. That's why nobody trusts corporate media. They are a disaster in what they are doing," DeSantis said in a press conference Tuesday. The 60 Minutes segment claimed that DeSantis made a deal to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to the grocery store chain Publix after the company made a $100,000 donation to DeSantis' committee. The segment suggested there was a possible link between the donation and the state's partnership with Publix stores for vaccine distribution; however, no other evidence beyond speculation was provided in the 60 Minutes segment. On Monday, DeSantis' office said, "Florida partnered with Publix because they were ready to administer the vaccine in their pharmacies in a matter of days, whereas other pharmacies were not ready." Outlets on all sides of the spectrum criticized 60 Minutes. Some voices from the right heavily criticized CBS and 60 Minutes, calling them "biased" and "disgraced," while some on the left said 60 Minutes' mistake would give DeSantis the boost he needed for his reelection campaign in Florida, and even a potential Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

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