In a fiery exchange that started trending online Tuesday, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis clapped back at a CNN reporter incessantly criticizing the state's vaccine rollout and attempting to pin the blame on him for some distribution issues at local hospitals.
CNN reporter Rosa Flores shouted at DeSantis during a news conference, saying, "Governor, what has gone wrong with the rollout of the vaccine? We've seen phone lines jammed, websites crashing—"
But when DeSantis cut in to answer the question, replying, "There has been a lot of demand," Flores continued to speak over him.
"If I could complete the question, though," she said multiple times despite DeSantis' attempts to move on with his answer.
Crosstalk ensued for several seconds until DeSantis fired back frustratedly, "So [are you] going to give a speech or are you going to ask a question? You asked a question and I'm going to answer it."
"I am trying to ask you," Flores said before DeSantis cut in again.
"How many questions? You get three? They only got one question," he responded, pointing to other reporters in the pool. "Why do you get three?"
DeSantis may already have quote of the year in 2021 as he *SHUT DOWN* CNN reporter: "The state is not dictating to… https://t.co/yGn216H8qA— Kyle Becker (@Kyle Becker)1609825567.0
DeSantis shut her down
When Flores finally persisted to finish her question, she simply repeated what she had already asked before adding "[we've also seen] senior citizens waiting overnight for the vaccine."
At this point, DeSantis grilled Flores on why she hadn't investigated the matter herself given the fact that she is a journalist. Then he proceeded to explain that in Florida the vaccine was distributed to hospitals which in turn would decide how best to deliver it to the residents.
The problems in Lee County, DeSantis explained, was a result of high demand and the hospital's decision to distribute on a first-come, first-served basis.
Flores asked snarkily why there was no top-down plan from the state to make sure senior citizens didn't have to wait in long lines to receive the vaccine.
"The state is not dictating to hospitals ... that would be a total disaster," DeSantis fired back. "These people are much more competent to be able to deliver health care services than a state government could ever be."
While conservatives largely lauded DeSantis for standing up for limited government and punching back at the media, liberals have likewise praised Flores for grilling the governor.
Fellow CNN reporter Jim Acosta tweeted: "Actually our [Rosa Flores] does a fantastic job here insisting that the governor answer the question. It's too bad DeSantis frequently interrupts and insults Rosa. But we've seen that routine before."