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Anatomy of a Manufactured Scandal: The Latest Vaccine Attack on Ron DeSantis Is Injected With Facts

Desperate to damage the governor, the press now criticizes DeSantis for prioritizing seniors for vaccines.

That the media is eager to level political damage against Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis is beyond evident. He has come under fire for numerous issues during the pandemic, all while delivering better results and a more open state than the revered names of Cuomo and Newsome. When the vaccine distribution was underway CNN’s Rosa Flores tried laying the blame for local officials bungling the administering of shots, pointing out 3 counties with issues. That 65 counties operated with no problems was not deemed a success for DeSantis, is the way this works.

Now the newest scandal has been trotted out, as first covered by Bonchie over the weekend. . With new doses of the vaccine arriving in Florida DeSantis is steering the batches to the areas he deems to be filled with the most at-risk recipients, and this is now being inflated into a scandal of moronic proportions. The press has been spinning this latest rollout in a way that both is desperate and ignores logic. The layers of the insipidness are many, and they are all dispelled by facts. First here are the claims being made.

  • DeSantis is favoring Republican voters for vaccination
  • He ignores federal mandates in the distribution
  • He is politicizing the rollout by threatening to pull vaccines from political opponents
  • He is favoring his political donors and ignoring citizens

The list may appear jarring at first, but one needs to understand a small detail — these are serious issues if they were true. The easiest way to unspool this prefab outrage is to address the article from NBC News, written by Corky Siemaszko that ”broke” the story. It is a report so filled with desperation and cement-headed reactionary thinking that fisking the article is the best method. The hackery begins right at the start, and it never gets any better.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, ignored federal guidelines and prioritized getting senior citizens — one of Florida’s most potent voting blocs — vaccinated first.

This is at the heart of the entire ”scandal”. Since when did we move away from the concept that the nation’s elderly were the most vulnerable to Covid? Over 80% of Covid fatalities have occured with those 65 years of age, and above. These are the very people who are desperately in need of the vaccine, above all others. Any time people gather in crowds, or even a lone individual go maskless, the initial retort is that these people ”want to kill grandma!” Now, suddenly we look at things differently. When you say DeSantis is vaccinating the retirees due to party affiliation you are politicizing the pandemic and — yes, this is true — you are ignoring the science.

When Holocaust survivors and Cuban survivors of the Bay of Pigs debacle — revered members of two other key Florida voting blocs — got their first shots, DeSantis made sure he was there for the news conferences.

These two voting blocs share something else in common; they involve geriatric-aged participants. But this becomes a curious turn of recognition. DeSantis, as both a Republican and a Trump supporter, is frequently tagged as a Nazi, or at least a bigot. This bizarre accusation now becomes a narrative-busting reality, but a welcomed one, to be sure, for the GOP governor.

And now the governor stands accused of using the Covid-19 vaccine to reward powerful political supporters and developers by setting up pop-up vaccination sites in planned communities they developed and where GOP voters predominate.

This springs from DeSantis turning to a developer of planned communities — where the elderly residents tend to gather — to find out where the concentrations of these residents are found. The developer reached out to local political officials to establish the best locations for these pop-up vaccine centers. It is not immediately clear how developers benefit from this vaccine decision, made less clear by the correction NBC News had to run. Initially, they declared the community was owned by a wealthy DeSantis donor, but it is operated by owners out of Illinois, so how they are catered to by this decision is even less obvious.

Earlier, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a South Florida Democrat, blasted DeSantis for threatening Manatee County. “To threaten that he would pull vaccine if people don’t like the way the distribution system is working is vile and shows the callous indifference he has had in how the vaccine has been handled,” she said on Wednesday.

There is a quote many have latched onto, where DeSantis said, “If Manatee County doesn’t like us doing this, we are totally fine with putting this in counties that want it.” This is the first indication of who is complaining, not just a Democrat but the former head of the DNC. Her home district is hours away from this controversy, but she is presented as representing the area. Her accusation of DeSantis rings false as well, as does that of state Agriculture Commissioner, Democrat Nikki Fried, who accused DeSantis of Rationing the doses. This entire uproar is over an additional 3,000 vaccine doses the state received above the county’s weekly allotment. DeSantis was responding to those criticizing his targeting what were ”bonus” vaccine doses.

Harvey Goldstein, who sits on the county’s GOP executive committee…said “It looks like they were allowed to jump the line ahead of the 90,000 people in the county who are still waiting to get a shot,” Goldstein, 81, told NBC News. “If you set up rules about who should get vaccinated first they should apply to everyone. I haven’t heard any rationale for them to get their shots ahead of the people who registered in the county.”

Key phrase – ”looks like”. This is all about interpretational optics. Again, these were additional doses of the vaccine that were received, so nobody is skipping ahead of anyone else. And it is unclear how you take a decision on who is first vaccinated and make it apply to everyone. Everybody cannot be prioritized. This was echoed by another Democrat politician…

Charlotte County Democratic Party Chair Teresa Jenkins said DeSantis’ decision to open a vaccination center in Kings Gate created the appearance that “politically connected people who are likely to vote for the governor are getting prioritized.”

This is how you politicize a pandemic; focus more on the appearance, and use that to score points. When the press is willing to play along and contort realities then this is the rule of the outrage, not science and data.

Of the 1,900 residents of Kings Gate, Jenkins said, only 150 are registered Democrats. “That says something,” said Jenkins. “And we’re very angry about it.”

It certainly does say something. It says, ”Take these vaccines away from the elderly, who are in the most vulnerable category for Covid fatalities, because they do not vote according to our preference.”

In December, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released recommendations on who should be getting vaccinated first. But the Trump administration essentially left the distribution of the doses up to governors, said Philip J. Palin, a veteran government consultant who specializes in delivering supplies to survivors of catastrophes.

Here is a trick being played by Siemaszko. He implies CDC guidelines are not being followed, except note he does not provide those guidelines. The CDC list of who should be prioritized reads 1a Healthcare workers and residents of nursing homes. 1b – Frontline workers and those aged 75 and older. 1c – People aged 65-74. In other words, the very people Ron DeSantis is looking to be provided with immediate access.

This is the vacant, hollow, bereft-of-content scandal the left and the media are attempting to cook up on Florida’s governor. If you are someone in the media looking at the elderly receiving vaccine access as some sort of problem then you are engaging in the two things the very same media have been demonizing; those politicizing the pandemic, and those ignoring the science and the advice of healthcare professionals.

This faux scandal proves that both of those realities are in play right now.

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