Nikki Fried unveils new statewide initiative to combat COVID-19

Fried is pleading with residents to mask up.

Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried unveiled a new consumer awareness campaign Monday designed to encourage Floridians to do their part against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The awareness campaign, coined Be Smart Florida, will launch Monday afternoon and play on radio airwaves, social media and digital platforms. It will feature high-profile figures such as congress members and professional athletes from the Miami Heat and the Miami Dolphins.

“We’ve never needed to be more united than right now, yet we’re divided by simple actions like wearing a mask and keeping our distance,” Fried said.  “To reopen our state and economy safely, we must all be in this together and together we must all d0 the small things that make a big difference in slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

SMART is an acronym for social distance, mask up, avoid crowds, remember to wash hands and throw away disposable items such as gloves and masks.

Fried described the initiative as a non-partisan, research-based effort to encourage all Floridians to take “small actions with proven results”  that are rooted in “science-based measures.”

“As Florida’s consumer protection agency, we take seriously the responsibility to help Florida’s people, businesses, essential workers, and economy be safe,” Fried said. “I’m hopeful that by working together, we’ll all do our part to beat COVID-19 – so let’s be SMART, Florida!”

Notably, Fried’s announcement comes days after Gov. Ron DeSantis reintroduced his COVID-19 state guidelines and recovery plans, such as reopening schools, under the banner of ‘One Goal, One Florida.’

One Goal, One Florida hits upon the same precautionary measures as before — protecting the vulnerable, practicing good hygiene, social distancing and wearing masks — but features a more patriotic and unifying theme.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Fried and the Governor have publicly clashed against one another over the state’s COVID-19 response.

At the press conference, she reiterated her calls for a statewide mask mandate and a slow down of the state’s reopening process, citing the latest COVID-19 numbers.

As of Monday, state health officials confirmed 4,752 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the fewest in a day in more than a month.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Ron Ogden

    August 3, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    If Nikki Fried thinks this is going to be her opening blast in an effort to secure the Democratic nomination for Governor in two years, she best think again and see as the shallow political stunt that it is. We already have everybody in government, including Governor DeSantis, telling us the same thing. All she wants is her picture on line. Weak!

    • Amy C Roberts

      August 3, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      Thanks Nikki Fried for working hard to get our State ahead of Covid-19.

    • Tjb

      August 3, 2020 at 2:56 pm

      Do you have a problem when a women in a leadership role speaks up?

Comments are closed.


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