Dave Kerner, the mayor of Palm Beach County, Florida, released a statement criticizing “60 Minutes” for a heavily-edited segment that aired Sunday night regarding Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state’s vaccine distribution program.
“I watched the 60 Minutes segment on Palm Beach County last night and feel compelled to issue this statement. The reporting was not just based on bad information -it was intentionally false. I know this because I offered to provide my insight into Palm Beach County’s vaccination efforts and 60 Minutes declined,” Kerner’s release said.
— Palm Beach County (@pbcgov) April 5, 2021
The story, which led off Sunday’s episode of “60 Minutes,” was critical of the vaccine rollout under DeSantis. Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi accused DeSantis of prioritizing wealthy communities and residents for vaccines, comparing Florida’s vaccine rollout to “The Hunger Games” book series. The segment was also critical of the state using Publix to distribute vaccines because the grocery chain previously donated $100,000 to a DeSantis PAC. (RELATED: ’60 Minutes’ Flamed Over ‘Hit Job’ Against Gov. DeSantis, Publix On Vaccine Distribution)
Kerner’s statement challenged the insinuations in the “60 Minutes” segment.
“They know the the Governor came to Palm Beach County and met with me and the County Administrator and we asked to expand the state’s partnership with Publix to Palm Beach County. We also discussed our own local plans to expand mass vaccinations centers throughout the county, which the Governor has been incredibly supportive,” Kerner’s statement said. “They had that information, and they left it out because it kneecaps their narrative.”
“As we always do for clarity, 60 MINUTES used the portion of the Governor’s over 2-minute response that directly addressed the question from the correspondent,” a spokesperson for “60 Minutes” told the Daily Caller.
A Publix spokesman denied any connection between political donations and vaccine distribution, calling the claim “irresponsible.”
DeSantis also disputed the “60 Minutes” allegations and called the accusations a “fake narrative.”
The Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, Jared Moskowitz, criticized “60 Minutes” Sunday evening, calling the allegations “absolute malarkey.”
@60Minutes I said this before and I’ll say it again. @Publix was recommended by @FLSERT and @HealthyFla as the other pharmacies were not ready to start. Period! Full Stop! No one from the Governors office suggested Publix. It’s just absolute malarkey. https://t.co/obkqYcbrzt
— Jared MASKowitz ???? (@JaredEMoskowitz) April 4, 2021
“We have confronted this pandemic for over a year. Our residents, like all Americans, are tired. And the media is making it worse,” Kerner said in his statement. “They are hellbent on dividing us for cheap views and clicks. 60 Minutes should be ashamed.”