CBS’S 60 Minutes
SHARYN ALFONSI: This previous week, president Biden stated 90% of U.S. adults shall be eligible for the covid vaccine by April 19 and can have the ability to get their pictures inside 5 miles of their house. That shall be welcome information to many in Florida. For 3 months, we’ve been reporting round palm seaside county, the third largest within the state. It’s house to old-monied millionaires, but additionally a number of the poorest day laborers and farm staff in America. Throughout these months, we watched Florida’s vaccine rollout deteriorate right into a digital free for all and watched as some rich and well-connected residents minimize the road, leaving different Floridians with out a truthful shot.
WEST PALM BEACH MAYOR KEITH JAMES: Folks have been saying, “Hear, it is a useful resource and I do know it’s on the market and I’m going to make use of no matter leverage I’ve to get that useful resource.” There have been no guidelines.
SHARYN ALFONSI: It feels like “The Starvation Video games.”
JAMES: That’s a fairly great way of placing it. And those that had the fiscal assets have been going to make use of them in no matter method they might to get this vaccine.
ALFONSI: So, why did the governor select Publix? Marketing campaign finance stories obtained by “60 minutes” present that weeks earlier than the governor’s announcement, Publix donated $100,000 to his political motion committee, buddies of Ron DeSantis. Julie Jenkins Fancelli, heiress to the Publix fortune, has given $55,000 to the governor’s pac up to now. And, in November, Fancelli’s brother-in-law, Hoyt R. Barnett, a retired Publix govt, donated $25,000. Publix didn’t reply to our request for remark in regards to the donations.
ALFONSI: Governor DeSantis is up for re- election subsequent 12 months I think about Governor DeSantis’s workplace would say, look we privatized the rollout as a result of it’s extra environment friendly and it really works higher.
HARDY: It hasn’t labored higher for individuals of shade. Earlier than, I may name the general public well being director, she would reply my calls. However now, if I need to get my constituents details about learn how to get this vaccine, I’ve to name a lobbyist from Publix? That is senseless. They’re not accountable to the general public.
ALFONSI: Distributing vaccines is profitable. Beneath federal tips, publix, like some other non-public firm, can cost Medicare $40 a shot to manage the vaccine. We needed to ask governor Desantis in regards to the deal, however he declined our requests for an interview. We caught up with him south of Orlando.
ALFONSI: Publix, as , donated $100,000 to your marketing campaign. And then you definately rewarded them with the unique rights to distribute the vaccination in Palm Seashore County.
DESANTIS: So, to start with, that– what you’re saying is incorrect. That’s–
ALFONSI: How is that not pay to play?
DESANTIS: That– that’s a pretend narrative. I met with the county mayor. I met with the administrator. I met with all the oldsters in Palm Seashore County and I stated, “Right here’s a number of the choices. We are able to do extra drive-thru websites. We may give extra to hospitals. We are able to do the Publix.” And so they stated, “We predict that might be the simplest factor for our residents.”
ALFONSI: However Melissa McKinlay, the county commissioner within the Glades, informed us the governor by no means met along with her in regards to the Publix deal.
ALFONSI: The criticism is that it’s pay to play, governor.
DESANTIS: And it’s incorrect. It’s incorrect. It’s a pretend narrative. I simply disabused you of the narrative. And also you don’t care in regards to the information as a result of I clearly laid it out for you in a method that’s irrefutable.
ALFONSI: Nicely, I– I used to be simply discuss–
DESANTIS: And, so, it’s clearly not.
ALFONSI: Isn’t there the closest Publix within the Glades—
DESANTIS: No, no, no. You’re incorrect. You’re incorrect. Sure, sir?
ALFONSI: That’s truly a truth.