A Fed up Ron DeSantis Rips Miami Herald a New One Over 'Poorly Executed Hit Piece' on Senior Vaccinations

AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

As we previously reported, the latest media-driven “scandal” regarding Gov. Ron DeSantis is in how the state of Florida – get this – had the nerve to prioritize vaccinating senior citizens over all others when the coronavirus vaccine rollout started under the Trump administration.

Despite the ongoing best efforts of his critics in the media and on the left (but I repeat myself) to smear him with allegations that he prioritized these communities due to political considerations, DeSantis’ approval ratings in the state are rising, which probably explains why the Usual Suspects still won’t let this manufactured scandal go.

The latest media hit piece on DeSantis comes from the Miami Herald, who continued to bang the “vaccinations for political donations” drum in an article published yesterday:

As Florida’s eldest residents struggled to sign up to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, nearly all those aged 65 years and older in a wealthy gated enclave in the Florida Keys had been vaccinated by mid-January, according to an emailed newsletter obtained by the Miami Herald.

[…]

Ocean Reef Club is an ultra-exclusive neighborhood that is arguably one of the highest-security private communities in the nation. […] It’s also home to many wealthy donors to the Florida Republican Party and GOP candidates, including Gov. Ron DeSantis.

In fact, the only people from Key Largo who gave to DeSantis’ political committee live in Ocean Reef. All 17 of them had given the governor contributions of $5,000 each through December 2020, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

In response to the Herald’s piece, a spokesman for DeSantis said the governor had nothing to do with the Ocean Reef Club being made a “point of distribution” for the vaccine:

DeSantis spokesperson Meredith Beatrice said that the governor was not involved in selecting the Ocean Reef Club for the early vaccine distribution. She did not explain how the club obtained so many doses ahead of others.

“This was not a state supported senior community POD [point of distribution], nor was it requested by the governor,’’ Beatrice said in an email.

Both Beatrice and DeSantis have also pushed back on criticisms of other senior pop-up vaccination clinics, pointing out that many of them were not exactly in Republican-friendly areas:

The governor’s spokeswoman, Meredith Beatrice, defended the pop-up clinics, telling the Sarasota Herald-Tribune last week that of the 15 pop-up clinics targeted to senior communities, nine were in Broward and Palm Beach counties “which are not known for being Republican strongholds.”

DeSantis has denied that he is selecting locations for the senior clinics based on politics.

“There’s some people who are more upset at me for vaccinating seniors than they are at other governors whose policies have killed seniors, and that is a joke,” DeSantis said after the Bradenton Herald’s first Lakewood Ranch stories emerged.

During a press briefing earlier today, DeSantis was asked about the Miami Herald’s “report” and whether or not the allegations were true. As per the norm, DeSantis did not hold back, pushing back against the claims and calling the article “a trainwreck” and a “poorly executed hit piece”:

DeSantis stressed that Ocean Reef was not a pod vaccination location, calling the Herald story a “poorly executed hit piece.”

“That was not a site that we were involved in, in the Keys,” DeSantis said. “That was one of the South Florida hospital systems [that] went to this community of seniors, I think that’s great. I want seniors to get shots, I think they did a good job of doing that. We just weren’t involved with it in any way, shape, or form.”

[…]

“It’s the age, not the income, that shows the risk,” he said. “… I think it was good that they did it. I support the hospital’s doing that. And really being proactive and trying to reach as many seniors as possible.”

Watch his full response below::

That a “controversy” has been made of DeSantis prioritizing the hardest-hit group of people for vaccinations is just amazing to me, even knowing how our duplicitous media operates. For purposes of discussion, let’s say Gov. Andrew Cuomo prioritized the vaccine for women or in black or Hispanic communities, which are also key voting blocs. Do you think we’d hear criticism from the New York media or national outlets over Cuomo making that key voting bloc a priority? Of course not. I mean, it took the media ten months to finally get around to noticing the nursing home controversy, which was and is an actual scandal.

Predictably, this was yet another hit piece designed to dent DeSantis’ political armor, not just in an attempt to once again paint him as the coronavirus villain over governors who actually have done a bad job, like Cuomo, but also because of 2024 considerations. DeSantis has been touted as a possible top presidential contender, and as a result, the media and the left are responding accordingly.

It’s especially remarkable when you think about how they routinely accused Trump and DeSantis last year of being willing to sacrifice seniors in order to reopen the economy. Now, they’ve almost quite literally done a full reversal from their previous “we must protect seniors!” stance. Sadly, for them, it all boils down to politics.

Hate to sound like a broken record here, but it’s worth repeating: these people are nothing if not shamelessly predictable.

Related: Ron DeSantis Goes Beast Mode on Reporter Who Asks About Maskless Super Bowl Partiers (Watch)