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Do you know how unfair a story has to be to a Republican, especially a Trumpist Republican with national ambitions, for multiple Democrats to step up in his defense?
That’s where we are with the “60 Minutes” hit piece on DeSantis, which Ed covered this morning. The nutshell version: Publix, a ubiquitous supermarket chain in Florida, donated $100,000 to DeSantis and ended up partnering with the state to distribute the COVID vaccine. Smells like a quid pro quo to us, “60 Minutes” asserted. But Jared Moskowitz, the director of the Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, said that was nonsense, claiming that Publix was recommended by experts because other big-chain pharmacies weren’t ready to start vaccinating yet.
This afternoon Dave Kerner, the Democratic mayor of Palm Beach County, chimed in as well. Not only didn’t DeSantis force Publix on us, Kerner says, he asked DeSantis to expand the partnership with Publix. And he was willing to tell “60 Minutes” that.
NRO notes in an editorial today that Publix donates to political entities on both sides. And $100,000 isn’t much by their standards:
Not only is Publix the largest and most widely trusted grocery-store chain in the state of Florida, but the majority of its 831 stores in the state have well-equipped pharmacies at which Floridians are accustomed to getting flu shots. Irrespective of any other logistical considerations, it would have been surprising if Publix had not been one of the major players in the state’s effort. It is true that Publix has recently given $100,000 to Ron DeSantis’s gubernatorial reelection bid. It is also true that it gave a million dollars to the progressive Urban League last year, and that, back in 2018, it gave $100,000 to Democratic campaigns in the state. To believe that there is a connection between this routine behavior and decisions that were made during an unforeseen once-in-a-century pandemic is to stretch oneself to the breaking point.
— Publix (@Publix) April 5, 2021
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