The Other Incredibly Questionable Part of That Deceptive '60 Minutes' Hit Piece on DeSantis

AP Photo/John Raoux

CBS’s “60 Minutes” ran a deceptive hit piece on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, suggesting that somehow he’d been involved in a pay-for-play scheme by having Publix involved in the vaccine rollout. But as we reported here, here, and here, that was resoundingly debunked.

But that wasn’t the only part of CBS’s report about DeSantis that was questionable.

What was truly incredible was that they attacked him for prioritizing seniors, the people most at risk from the virus. You would think that focus should have been praised, not attacked. We saw how that lack of care for seniors resulted in more deaths in New York after Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered nursing homes to take positive virus patients. But not only did DeSantis issue an order saying that you shouldn’t send positive virus patients into nursing homes, he also focused on getting seniors vaccinated early on since they were the population most at risk as well as being such a big part of the Florida population. Florida is among the leaders in the country for getting seniors vaccinated.

But CBS insinuated that focus was somehow bad, that it was somehow not correct they were prioritized over young frontline workers. They spoke as though seniors being more at risk was just something that DeSantis pulled out of his hat for the fun of it, rather than being the clear factual and scientific consensus.

From Townhall:

“Florida’s rollout started pretty typically. The first doses were given to healthcare workers and nursing home residents in early December,” Alfonsi said. “But then, a few weeks later, Gov. Ron DeSantis, breaking from CDC guidelines, announced he would not vaccinate teachers and essential workers next but instead put seniors first, making anyone 65 and over eligible for the vaccine, the first in the country to do that.”

“DeSantis said seniors were at highest risk,” she added, as if that was DeSantis’s opinion rather than fact.

Eighty percent of the deaths attributed to the Wuhan coronavirus have been among those 65 and older, according to the CDC. So DeSantis’ decisions were completely based upon the science and the statistics as to who was most at risk.

That’s why having vaccination in a Publix was so convenient since the stores are all over the state.

CBS tried to spin DeSantis making the vaccines so available to seniors as Florida’s 4.5 million “compete against each other” for the shots. I’m thinking that seniors in other places who didn’t have access as soon as Florida seniors would have loved to have the opportunity to “compete” for the shots. Most of Florida’s seniors, some 3.5 million people, have now been vaccinated because of DeSantis.

“As a result, cases and hospitalizations in those 65 older have drastically reduced. In the 65 and older population, the number of new cases were down by 84% the week of March 21 – March 27, as compared to the week of December 27 – January 2, and hospitalizations were down by 83%,” a statement from his office says.

In other words, this is how you get the lower death numbers in Florida despite having such a concentrated population of seniors. That’s something that should be praised not attacked. But the fact that CBS tried to suggest that there was somehow something wrong with that focus shows how desperate they are to go after DeSantis.