On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida was confronted by CNN’s Rosa Flores in a clip that soon went viral. Senior citizens had begun the vaccination process in Florida. Most counties rely on an appointment app but several counties in Florida had allowed seniors to get vaccinated on a first-come-first-served basis. This had led to long lines with some elderly waiting overnight in their cars.
Flores was asking a leading question, the kind only Republicans get from CNN: ‘What has gone wrong with the rollout of the vaccine? We’ve seen phone lines jammed, websites crashing, and also senior citizens waiting overnight for the vaccine.’
DeSantis explained that the state is in charge of getting the vaccines to counties but it is the responsibility of local governments to distribute them.
The exchange was contentious but one that should be standard between reporter and politician. However any conservative knows that it’s not.
Meanwhile in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo continues to enjoy the kind of press coverage a politician could only get when their brother was their most frequent interviewer at the height of a deadly pandemic.
DeSantis could be faulted perhaps for not streamlining the process to get the vaccination to the elderly. But in New York, the elderly are not even eligible for vaccination and few journalists seem to have a problem with this. Vaccination is currently limited to only healthcare workers and nursing home residents and staff.
In fact, it’s Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has fallen out of favor with the left and therefore can get the Republican treatment from the media, who is pushing to have elderly vaccinated immediately.
On Monday, Mayor de Blasio asked the state to allow the city to vaccinate essential workers who are 75 years old and up. Cuomo said nope and that was the end of that. Cuomo also blamed local officials for the fact that the city had only used up 25 percent of their vaccine supply. When DeSantis blames local officials, he gets torn into by CNN. When Cuomo does it, it’s crickets.
Also on January 4, Cuomo announced he would be fining hospitals which fail to distribute all the vaccines. This is in addition to the threat Cuomo made at the end of December to any hospital or healthcare clinic found vaccinating the ‘wrong’ people: ‘We want to send a clear signal to the providers,’ said Cuomo. ‘If you violate the laws on these vaccinations, we will find out and you will be prosecuted.’
Cuomo seems to really be enjoying the power he has seized during the pandemic and is loath to let it go. But New York’s vaccination disaster can’t stay hidden for long. On Tuesday, New York Times reporter J. David Goodman pointed out that ‘fewer people were vaccinated in New York City this Monday than last Monday.’
Bureaucratic incompetence and a governor who is given a regular pass by the media is how. If the media could just pretend that Cuomo is a Republican, surely they’d get to the bottom of it.