Nikki Fried suspects Ron DeSantis contracted COVID-19 in November
The Commissioner slammed the Governor again.

nikki fried
'It's just a personal hunch.'

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried told the Daily Beast on Monday she suspects Gov. Ron DeSantis contracted COVID-19 last year.

Speaking to reporters in Tallahassee after appearing on the publication’s The New Abnormal podcast, Fried described the assessment as a “personal hunch.”

“You know, he went MIA for three weeks in November claiming that he was working on some statewide plan,” Fried said on the podcast. “My take is that he probably had COVID and didn’t want to tell people when the vaccines first came to our state.”

Fried’s suspicion centers around the Governor’s abrupt departure from the public eye after the presidential election.

DeSantis, who wears a mask sparingly, was a frequent guest at former President Donald Trump‘s Florida rallies. The large gatherings notably bucked social distancing measures and other COVID-19 health protocols.

The reason for the Governor’s nearly month-long absence?

“We’ve been doing a lot of work on preparing for the vaccine,” DeSantis told reporters then.

Fried, however, suggested that the Governor’s justification conflicts with his latest remarks.

In February, DeSantis told reporters that Florida operates without a strict COVID-19 vaccine playbook.

“We now know that there is no plan and there never was a plan,” Fried said. “So my question is: where was he for those three weeks? And so again, I jumped to my own personal thoughts that maybe he had COVID.”

DeSantis spokeswoman Meredith Beatrice told Florida Politics the Governor “never tested positive” for COVID-19.

“It’s disturbing that someone would make false claims about his personal health,” she added.

Fried’s podcast appearance and subsequent remarks notch her latest jab at the Republican Governor.

Serving as Florida’s highest-ranking Democrat, she is widely considered a 2022 gubernatorial contender.

DeSantis, meanwhile, whose profile has grown amid the COVID-19 pandemic, is drawing buzz as a 2024 presidential contender.

On Monday, DeSantis appeared on FOX News to discuss his latest profile piece with Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade.

“We’re in 2021,” DeSantis said. “We’re going to have reelection in 2022. That’s kind of what I’m focused on.”

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.


  • Charlotte Greenbarg

    March 10, 2021 at 8:07 am

    Aha! Nikki Fried spews again. The Fried who is engaged to a married man who beats her and is in the cannabis industry, which Fried tried to put under the control of her office. The Fried who has been running for Governor since the day she was elected. That Nikki Fried. Slither away Nikki.

  • Ron Ogden

    March 10, 2021 at 12:31 pm

    I suspect Nikki contracted something, too. I’m just not saying what.

  • Jerry sherbon

    March 10, 2021 at 1:07 pm

    Nikki should stop worrying about the Governor and try and run the office she holds. The people working for her are rude and not helpful. Try to get someone on the telephone I’ve spent hours on hold and all I here is Nikki telling everyone how great she is. Get to work Nikki!

  • WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot

    March 10, 2021 at 4:14 pm

    The voters let her borrow that office to work for their well-being, not her personal financial benefit.

  • Baltimore Baylie

    March 11, 2021 at 12:59 am

    Statewide races have larger attention. So it would not surprise me if operatives working for the repubs… would be here first to comment. They are not offering a real comment about true issues just gaslighting.

    Florida’s families are awake to the failure of the state during the covid pandemic. Failed response in the unemployment system. Florida is paying out the lowest claims and at a whopping low 9%. That means 91 % unemployment claims go unpaid. Florida administration of SNAP is another issue causing children and working families severe hardships. Longlines for food handouts are a real measurement to how desperate folks are and how the state failed to take care of its people.

  • tjb

    March 11, 2021 at 9:10 am

    To the Nikki haters, what is DeSantis hiding? Three weeks out of pocket is abnormal for DeSantis … he loves the publicity of being in front of the camera.

  • Palmer Tom

    March 11, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    It is an interesting observation.

  • Julio

    March 11, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Gov. Ron DeSantis is simply a lying bag of crapola.

    Release your medical records Chubby.

Comments are closed.


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