CNN anchor Brianna Keilar described Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) as an “ass” during a segment on Tuesday in reaction to the governor’s contentious Q&A with CNN reporter Rosa Flores over the rollout of vaccines in the Sunshine State.
Describing Flores as a “tireless questioner,” Keilar casually referred to the Republican governor as an “ass” following Monday’s exchange with Flores, whom he called out for attempting to “give a speech” rather than ask a single question.
“I think maybe one of the reasons the governor might have been frustrated is that you have been a tireless questioner of Gov. DeSantis, as Florida has had a number of issues with its coronavirus response,” Keilar said to Flores, concluding that it “might be part of the reason why he was being such an ass instead of just answering your question, at a time when Floridians need answers and their health and their lives are at stake”:
DeSantis sparred with Flores on Monday after she asked the Trump ally “what has gone wrong with the rollout of the vaccine that we’ve seen phone lines jammed” and “websites crashing” in the state.
“There’s a lot of demand. I mean I think at the end of the day we,” he said as Flores asked to finish her question, prompting a heated exchange:
It’s good for reporters to be reminded that they’re not immune from being called out to their faces. Sheeeesh.
— Cabot Phillips (@cabot_phillips) January 5, 2021
DeSantis: No. You’re giving a speech. You asked a question.
Flores: I’m trying to ask you the —
DeSantis: You’re going to ask how many questions? You get three? They only got one question. Why do you get three?
Flores: With all due respect, governor, I’m just asking if I could finish my question.
DeSantis: You didn’t — you finished the question.
Flores: I did not. My full question is what went wrong with the rollout of the vaccine when we’ve seen phone lines jammed, websites crashing —
DeSantis: So you’re repeating your question.
Flores: To complete it for you, governor, we’ve seen websites crash and also senior citizens waiting overnight for the vaccine.
DeSantis: Where was that at?
Flores: We’ve seen it in Duval, Broward, Orange, and Lee County.
DeSantis: And why was, like in Lee, why did that happen? Did you investigate why?
Flores: That’s my question to you governor. You’re the governor of the state. I’m not the governor of the state.
DeSantis: Okay, but you didn’t investigate why how, like in Lee County, why was there a big line? Did you investigate why?
Flores: Could you tell us why?
DeSantis: Because we distributed [the] vaccine to hospitals and the hospitals said first come, first serve. If you show up, we’ll do it. So they didn’t use a registration system. There wasn’t anything that was done, and there’s a lot of demand for it so people are going to want to go ahead and get it.
Flores: So are you saying there was no plan from the state to make sure that senior citizens didn’t wait outside overnight?
DeSantis: So the state is not dictating the hospitals. … That would be a total disaster. These guys are much more competent to be able to deliver healthcare services than a state government could ever be.
CNN has also attacked the governor for prioritizing seniors over frontline workers in the vaccine distribution, accusing him of “bucking” CDC guidelines.
1,152,000 doses of the vaccine have been distributed in the Sunshine State, with 264,512 receiving the first dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) January 5 data.