Dear Friends,
Florida, one of the few actual free states in our group of 50 (I believe there are now 3 — Florida, Texas, and South Dakota), where there are no lock-downs, restaurants and businesses are booming, masks are not mandated, unemployment is dropping, the horrible Coronavirus is declining, and the various vaccines preventing the Virus are plentiful. We have sunshine (with warm, pleasant weather), palm trees, great beaches and fishing, our schools are open, and most of all we have freedom. We owe it all to the prudent, caring, and logical leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis. By the way, this guy could be President someday. He is a spectacular fellow who understands fairness and reality.
There are some facts worth noting about Governor DeSantis’ Florida’s operation: The allegations brought up on “60 Minutes” were blatant, ridiculous lies and nothing more than fake news. DeSantis has not come even close to doing anything irregular or dishonest. Publix is doing a great job distributing the vaccine and has corrected some glitches in the internet appointments. For Publix’s part in all this, they are doing this on a break-even basis and this company’s altruism is fantastic.
As for folks from out of state (snowbirds) getting the Vaccine, it is fine with me. You can walk into any Publix after 4 PM and if someone has not shown up for their appointment, the vaccine will be given to a walk-in (regardless of residency), rather THAN BE WASTED. It does not matter where you come from. There was “no pay for play” or any special favors. Both DeSantis and Publix fervently deny these vicious allegations.
DeSantis is creating other venues for the Vaccine, as well. I got mine at a local hospital because I was persistent and responsible. 18-year-olds and up can now get the vaccine in Florida.
To hear the crap on “60 Minutes” about one county in Florida not having a Publix closer than 25 miles is pathetic. In this day and age, if someone can’t get their butts 25 miles to prevent dying, is beyond absurd and shame on them! It is time to stop all the racial falsehoods.
Everybody can get the vaccine who wants it. You may have to hitch a ride, take a train or take a bus to get to where it is offered, but DeSantis shouldn’t have to hold your hand if you don’t have a car. I know some elderly folks in Palm Beach who took a TRAIN to Miami to get vaccinated.
Please read the article below from “Axios.” I have also enclosed the link for the actual “60 Minutes” show if you wish to watch it.
As always, your feedback is welcome and appreciated.
Please stay tuned.
Respectfully submitted,
JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network
Entire “60 Minutes” Interview :
Florida governor clashes with “60 Minutes” over COVID vaccine rollout
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution partnership with Publix grocery stores weeks after the company gave $100,000 to his PAC, CBS’ “60 Minutes” reported Sunday, citing campaign finance records. DeSantis and Publix deny any wrongdoing.
Why it matters: DeSantis has been criticized for directing vaccines toward wealthy communities, with some who benefitted from the vaccine pop-ups also donating to the governor’s political action committee, per Axios’ Tampa Bay reporter Ben Montgomery.
Driving the news: The “60 Minutes” program highlighted reports of “vaccine favoritism,” with Florida’s poorer communities being left behind in the rollout, noting there’s no Publix in Belle Glade in Palm Beach County.
  • State Democratic Rep. Omari Hardy told the show “you have lots of folks who don’t have cars” in the community and that it’s a round trip of over two hours with 34 stops to the nearest Publix 25 miles away.
  • “Before, I could call the public health director. She would answer my calls. But now if I want to get my constituents information about how to get this vaccine I have to call a lobbyist from Publix? That makes no sense,” Hardy added. “They’re not accountable to the public.”
Of note: “60 Minutes” aired footage of CBS’ Sharyn Alfonsi confronting DeSantis at a press conference south of Orlando last month over the donation report, which DeSantis called “wrong.”
  • Alfonsi narrated that Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay said DeSantis “never met with her about the Publix deal.”
  • It cut back to her exchange with DeSantis, with Alfonsi saying: “The criticism here is that is pay for play, governor.”
  • DeSantis called the claim “a fake narrative,” adding that he met with local officials to discuss options.
“We can do more drive-thru sites, we can give more to hospitals. We can do the Publix. And they said, ‘We think that would be the easiest thing for our residents.”
— DeSantis
For the record: The donation is the latest in controversial political spending by associates and beneficiaries of Publix.
  • Heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli donated about $300,000 to fund the rally that preceded the U.S. Capitol riot, Axios Tampa Bay’s Montgomery and Selene San Felice report.
  • The popular grocery chain employs 225,000 people and did $38.1 billion in retail sales in 2019, per Montgomery and San Felice, the reporters note.
What they’re saying: Publix said in a statement to CBS, “The irresponsible suggestion that there was a connection between campaign contributions” made to DeSantis and “our willingness to join other pharmacies” supporting Florida’s vaccine rollout is “absolutely false and offensive.”
  • “We are proud of our pharmacy associates for administering more than 1.5 million doses of vaccine to date and for joining other retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia to do our part to help our communities emerge from the pandemic,” the statement added.
  • Representatives for DeSantis, Publix and CBS did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify that the nearest Publix to Belle Glade is 25 miles away.