Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis scolded CNN reporter Rosa Flores on Monday after she appeared to blame him for coronavirus vaccine distribution issues at local hospitals.
Flores shouted during a press conference: “Governor, what has gone wrong with the rollout of the vaccine that we’ve seen phone lines jammed, websites crashing.”
DeSantis, a Republican, responded that there is “a lot of demand,” as the CNN reporter continued to speak over him.
“Excuse me, excuse me, you just said, ‘What has gone wrong?’ so I’m answering the question,” DeSantis said as Flores continued to speak over him.
“If I could complete the question, though,” she said.
DeSantis fired back, “So you’re going to give a speech or are you going to ask a question? You asked a question and I’m going to answer it.”
The CNN reporter urged DeSantis to let her finish, but the governor said, “No, you asked a question.”
“I am trying to ask you,” Flores said before DeSantis cut her off.
“How many questions? You get three? They only got one question,” he said, pointing to other reporters. “Why do you get three?”
“With all due respect, governor, I’m just asking if I could finish my question,” Flores said.
“You finished the question,” DeSantis said, as Flores snapped back, “I did not.”
The CNN reporter went on to simply repeat the original question.
“What went wrong with the rollout of the vaccine, when we’ve seen phone lines jammed, websites crashing,” Flores said as DeSantis chimed in, “So you’re repeating your question.”
“To complete it for you, governor, we’ve seen websites crash, and also, senior citizens waiting overnight for the vaccine,” Flores said.
DeSantis criticized the CNN reporter for not researching her question, noting that the coronavirus vaccine was distributed to hospitals and the hospitals decide how to dispense it.
Flores then accused DeSantis of not having a plan to ensure senior citizens don’t have to wait in long lines for the vaccine.
“So the state is not dictating to hospitals… that would be a total disaster,” DeSantis said.
The encounter mirrored dozens of moments over the past few years between President Trump and liberal reporters. CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who is widely known for his aggressive questioning of Trump officials that is often seen as grandstanding, defended his colleague.
“Actually our @RosaFlores 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,” Acosta tweeted.