Nikki Fried urges Ron DeSantis to issue statewide ‘stay-at-home’ order

Decisive action today to save lives tomorrow.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried says it’s time for a statewide “stay-at-home” order.

Fried, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat, called on Gov. Ron DeSantis to follow other large states and issue an executive order closing nonessential businesses and directing people to hunker down at home as best they can.

“I want to recognize the difficult choices the Governor has had to make in this public health crisis. No Governor in recent history would have expected to have to make a decision like California, New York, or Illinois have made in the past 72 hours,” Fried said in a prepared statement.

“Shutting down one of the nation’s largest states is a decision that will have an economic impact — but it is a decision that will save lives. Based on the data, we know we are a week behind California’s vast increase in COVID-19 cases. The individuals and businesses I’ve spoken with are growing more anxious by the day. As the nation’s third largest state, we need to go further, and we cannot afford to lose another week.”

Fried said an across-the-board order would be more effective than the current “piecemeal approach,” referring to the near daily escalation in closures and crowd-size limits.

Earlier this week, DeSantis ordered bars to shut down for 30 days and directed restaurants to limit their seating areas to half capacity. Friday, he issued an Executive Order closing restaurant dining rooms and gyms for the duration of the state’s state of emergency, which expires May 8, but can be extended.

Friday also saw the Governor issue an Executive Order shutting down all beaches in Broward and Palm Beach counties after Miami-Dade made the same move Thursday.

The executive activity has increased commensurate with the rise in Florida coronavirus cases. On Monday, there were 115 positive cases and four deaths statewide. On Friday, there were well over 500 cases and 10 deaths.

The pandemic is also taking a toll on the economy, leading to the worst week for the stock market since the Great Recession.

Additionally, more than a million Florida jobs are in hard-hit industries such as tourism and hospitality. Job loss figures are mostly anecdotal thus far, though data from the American Hotel & Lodging Association indicates the hotel industry has already cut more than 400,000 jobs in Florida.

Fried said the stay-at-home order could help stop the economic hemorrhaging.

“I encourage the Governor to take this decisive action today to save lives and preserve Florida’s economy for our shared future. I will stand by the Governor should he make this difficult decision, and I implore him to do so now,” she concluded.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


  • Thomas Knapp

    March 20, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    I urge Governor DeSantis to issue a “go home, Nikki, you’re drunk” order.

    • Robert

      March 21, 2020 at 10:26 pm

      Why don’t we just dig graves in our backyard and wait for the virus to kill us

    • Dskivoi

      March 21, 2020 at 10:29 pm

      I will not personally disrespect or insult Nikki but Nikki need to speak for herself and family. She can afford a total shutdown but many, very many including small businesses can not. The rent, the car payment, the utilities [not to mention the basic essentials] … even if some companies allow grace when the grace is up a stack of Bill’s doubled up will be waiting which most will not be able to afford to pay which will lead many to a very bad, dangerous spot. I’m independent so it’s not about politics for me it’s about considering all things. I hope the governor does just the opposite of Nikki.

    • Laura Cody

      March 22, 2020 at 9:02 am

      She needs to sit down and shut up. Let what’s being done so far work.

    • Dr. Tim Lucas ADAMS, Th. D. Chaplin

      March 22, 2020 at 9:31 am

      Except for
      Costco and
      Neighborhood food stores i. e.
      Dollar General and
      Family Dollar

      Mom and Pop stores and
      Restaurants with take out.

      Nikki are the FoodGrub
      Uber and Lyft practicing
      Health Safety practices ?

      Are there published guidelines.
      Are they Food handlers trained?

      OUR lives depend on. These answers.

  • John Kociuba

    March 20, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    Dear Citizens ~

    Re: Posse Comitatus & Habeaus Corpus

    America is NOT under REBELLION nor INVASION! Any quarantine must be voluntary! I repeat VOLUNTARY! What many States are doing like California & New York are UNCONSTITUTIONAL!


    I repeat! Local Court Jurisdictions are still functional so suspension of Habeas corpus is ILLEGAL!

    Where is the investigation into China violating BWC? Why hasn’t the U.N. Security Council announce an emergency meeting about China?

    Where were all U.S. Security Agencies and Congressional & Senatorial Intelligence Committees?



    • Delilah

      March 21, 2020 at 12:19 pm

      Are you okay? Slightly worried about your well-being…

  • GatorG

    March 21, 2020 at 9:03 am

    There comes a tipping point, where excessive reaction to C-19 will actually be worse that the C-19 virus itself. And yes, there are people that want an Economic Catastrophe and are using C-19 to achieve those goals.

  • Meri

    March 21, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    With the amount of seniors in this state, it is time to put aside sophomoric ideas and grow up. Rip off the bandaid and follow the State of
    NY ‘s lead. Shut it down, expand hospital bed capacity, obtain needed equipment & supplies. Get ahead of the wave asap. Otherwise ……

  • Palmer Tom

    March 21, 2020 at 9:21 pm

    I’m 72 and am taking prudent precautions, but although I voted for Nikki Fried, I think her proposal is misguided and is more a symptom of herd mentality. This is not a partisan reaction. The Republican-dominated Polk County Commission issued a surprise announcement to close the county’s park system. It was a bad decision, too.

  • Justin Reock

    March 22, 2020 at 3:15 am

    Nikki Fried represents our progressive future. We should all be working very hard to make sure she stays elected.

  • Ralph Kirkpatrick

    March 22, 2020 at 6:36 am

    Preppers are good God is great

  • Cando

    March 22, 2020 at 7:56 am

    A cording to the CDC, 34 Million US citizens have been infected with the Flu,
    350,000 have been hospitalized and 20,000 HAVE DIED, this Flu season!!!

    Let’s continue to Wash our Hads, Social Distance, let restaurants run at 50% capacity (I am willing to have my temp taking upon entry, / anything above 98.6 no entry allowed)

    Right now we are running in FEAR,
    My wife and I are both in our 60’s she has 2 underlying health issues which puts her in the high risk category, she is staying home, and Iam being extremely cautious.

    We will see more deaths from our over reaction to Covid-19 then the virus it self

  • Michael Rigney

    March 22, 2020 at 8:05 am

    Has anyone looks at what has happened to Italy and how it’s getting worse
    If we do not take drastic measures we will follow there path and the death till will be devastating .

  • Nay

    March 22, 2020 at 8:59 am

    I agree with Nikki. I also think that school should be closed for the rest of the school year. I am a mother of five kids. I can’t afford internet and buy two laptops right now and have no job to pay the due to everyone getting laid off. Also you don’t want the people in a group larger than ten how could i send me kids to school the school has at least thirty kids in each class. Who knows who these children have been in contact with and spread it all over not everyone can be tested due to running out of test. He should shut florida down. For the people united we stand.

  • Scott

    March 22, 2020 at 9:16 am

    This foolishness must stop if the United States is to survive. So, great, types like Fried may save us from the big, virus but who saves us from them? What of those whose retirement investments are now gone? How many suicides will social isolation, hopelessness and depression cause?
    Someone commented earlier that “the economy can be rebuilt”. Really? How, pray tell? The US economy is nearing a tipping point into a depression; the country is 75 trillion dollars in debt, printing and handing out money will simply turn the US into Venezuela with too many dollars chasing chasing what goods are still available? Grow up people, if you want to stay at home, great, let the rest of us get on with life

  • Will B

    March 22, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Well if that order went out 911 operators would not be going in as they are not first responders.

    Ring. 9
    Ring. 1
    Ring. 1

    What happens when you call and there’s no answer?????

    Maybe they should look at making them first responders ASAP??????!!!!!!

    • Arthur Kirby

      March 22, 2020 at 2:53 pm

      Y E S !!!

  • Arthur Kirby

    March 22, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    Issue the order! Send all first responders and civilian support staff home, turn everything over to the National Guard, and start allocating grocery and pharmaceutical times to shop (if one still has money to buy anything).

    Otherwise, open the restaurants and beaches and small private businesses, etc. Support the Healthcare and emergency services industries by supporting them *not* staying at home, and yield to American Civil liberties. We must allow Americans and Florida citizens their right yo make thoughtful decisions for themselves and take calculated risks.

  • TC

    March 24, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    First of all a shutdown of Florida would be a catastrophe in itself. People on chemotherapy & dialysis would not be able to get there treatments, they would die.
    I’ve been going to Publix every morning at 8am to try & get pork chops, chicken & other things to no avail. Either the truck didn’t come in or they are ordering this stuff. The little food stamps my sister gets for her & her 2 grandchildren is pitiful. The school hands out food everyday from 11am-1pm consists of 2 bags one for each child with a donut, muffin, white or chocolate milk, salad, apple or orange, salad, cheese stick, apple, orange or fruit juice (that’s breakfast & lunch for Elementary school kids). They were already advised by the landlord that rent needs to be paid by the 5th even if Trump signs the bill to forgo rent, mortgage and electric bill for 90 days. This place lives by it’s own rules & alot of them have to work to support there families. My sister can’t go to stores as she is on oxygen & has COPD & has no immune system left. If you look up how many cases North Korea has it will tell you zero cases. I blame North Korea they shot up a missile right over South Korea, China & whoever else was in that way. And Trump is blaming China & the Democrats for this deadly disease. Keep Florida open for the ones that have to work, no one has a stockpile of cash in there safes at home.

  • Diama

    March 24, 2020 at 8:57 pm

    No one has mentioned Bradenton, Sarasota, Venice these are NY top spots to come also we call Gods Waiting Room. Test test test
    Get done here and Test please
    Hotels Restaurants business need help we need Tests
    We have a Great Hospital SMH your going to find testing will talk !!! Shut us Down

  • Allpoints Surveyor

    March 24, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    Nikki Fried doesn’t even have a clue about what professions she not only regulates, but is supposed to REPRESENT.
    One example: Land Surveyors: We take the the majority of work orders over the phone, go to the (usually vacant) job site, do the fieldwork, then deliver the finished product to the client. It costs me over $500 to renew my license and so far I can’t think of anything I have received because of Nikki.
    Does Nikki Fried even have a clue about how many Counties there are in Florida? Does she have a clue about how many Counties have Zero Covid-19 (that’s right, about 1/3rd of Florida Counties are Corona Virus Free) or are still in the single digits. Shutting down all of Florida when so much of the state is Virus Free is stupid.
    Obviously, Nikki saw the Secretary of Agriculture and Consumer Services position as a steppingstone to further her political career. The problem with that is you need to be smart enough to actually DO YOUR JOB,

    • Allpoints Surveyor

      April 5, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      At the time I wrote the post about Nikki not doing the job she is paid for, the majority of the Covid-19 Free Counties were rural with agriculture being the largest industry. It is unfortunate that Nikki didn’t consult with someone knowledgeable about Florida’ s agricultural areas, someone who would be a voice for Florida’s farmers, before trying to use this pandemic to boost her visibility.

  • Patrick Leary.

    April 2, 2020 at 3:02 pm

    I think I am still ok at math. The New York time says, worst case scenario, at this moment, 1,700,000 in the US could die. That means, as a citizen of the United States, I have a 99.48% chance I will NOT die of the virus.
    Is that a reason for panic. It is more likely I would die from the social unrest that may be coming due to a crashed economy following all this hysteria.
    Try to remain a bit calmer and think.

Comments are closed.


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