Ron DeSantis throws tantrum over CBS report on Florida's 'pay for play' vaccine scandal — and threatens 'consequences'

On Tuesday, the Orlando Sentinel reported that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) attacked CBS News for their "60 Minutes" report alleging he improperly awarded COVID vaccine contracts to a major corporate donor, the Publix supermarket chain, and let communities supportive of him cut to the front of the line.

DeSantis, speaking at a press conference, further suggested there would be "consequences" for the network, although he did not elaborate on what those consequences would be.

"What they're saying is a total crock, that somehow only Publix was getting [the vaccine] is nonsense," said DeSantis. "And we told them it was that and they cut it out. They spliced it because they can't handle the truth. … So they went for the smear."

As the Sentinel noted, DeSantis did not actually challenge the majority of the CBS report's claims.

"The bulk of the story, which generally rehashed earlier stories reported in Florida, actually pointed out the disparity in how vaccines were administered in Palm Beach County, with the rich jumping to the front of the line over low-income residents who live 25 miles or more from a Publix," reported Steven Lemongello. "DeSantis and the Republican Party's fierce pushback against the story also sidestepped the issue of vaccination sites set up in wealthy senior communities developed by DeSantis donor Pat Neal, which were also mentioned in the '60 Minutes' piece."

DeSantis has faced allegations for weeks that he has steered vaccines to communities of wealthy supporters. He has denied having a role in vaccine distribution, although leaked text messages between state government officials contradict his denial.