Nikki Fried says Ron DeSantis ‘panicked’ in handling pandemic
Nikki Fried. Image via Twitter.

Nikki Fried
Fried took her case to MSNBC Sunday night.

For a change, Gov. Ron DeSantis wasn’t the subject of an adoring weekend cable news hit. Rather, he was the target.

DeSantis, presiding over a state that is the current epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, found himself taken to task again by a potential 2022 general election opponent, who charged that he “panicked” while handling the coronavirus.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried took to MSNBC Sunday night, after yet another record day in COVID-19 daily cases and hospitalizations. She blasted DeSantis again for a “void of leadership,” saying that the Governor “panicked during this pandemic.”

“Unfortunately, this Governor again has been devoid of leadership, he’s gone outside this state consistently fundraising, and he’s really just panicked during this pandemic and has shown no leadership. And unfortunately, he even said last week, ‘we just have to live with this.’ And unfortunately, that is not what the advice is of all of our experts, our scientists, our medical doctors. They’re all saying get the vaccine.”

Fried, when asked if she backed vaccine mandates for public school teachers, a concept floated by American Federation of Teachers head Randi Weingarten., sidestepped the question.

“I stand on showing leadership,” Fried said. “And that’s what I’ve done throughout this entire pandemic.”

Meanwhile, Fried blamed DeSantis for teachers not getting vaccinated on their own.

“And if we had a different conversation from the get-go. Really emphasizing from our elected officials across the state of Florida and specifically our Governor, and trying to really emphasize the importance and the necessity of getting these vaccines. And until such time that the Governor starts to lead again, the people of the state of Florida are going to have to rely on local leadership and their local school boards for leadership on this.”

Fried also suggested using “influencers” to overcome pockets of vaccine hesitancy.

“Going into our rural communities, our minority communities, our socially-disadvantaged communities that are maybe more hesitant to getting the vaccines and using our religious institutions, using influencers, the sports industry, and our different music industry influencers,” Fried said.

Among the topics not brought up: the ongoing back and forth between President Joe Biden and the man he called “Governor who?” last week.

The interview Sunday night came ahead of yet another coronavirus-centric day for Fried, who will Zoom with people affected by the lack of a statewide K-12 mask mandate in the morning and then brief media in the afternoon about the larger virus crisis.

Though DeSantis maintains a massive fundraising advantage over Fried, the incumbent’s failures on virus response have given Fried and Rep. Charlie Crist, the other currently plausible Democratic candidate, platforms. Fried’s campaign valued hers last week as approaching the million-dollar mark in publicity value.

DeSantis is still a strong favorite for reelection, but in the estimation of prediction markets, his COVID-19 response makes investors increasingly apprehensive of late.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


14 comments

  • Arthro

    August 9, 2021 at 7:30 am

    Nikki is such a clown. Desperate to be relevant.

  • Edward Lyle

    August 9, 2021 at 7:57 am

    Nikki Weed is clueless. The 9-square is living in Bizarro World.

  • Ed

    August 9, 2021 at 7:59 am

    Yes a blow hard that offers very little but constant criticism of our excellent Governor. She has the audacity to criticize DeSantis for his Fox appearances yet she is always contacting MSNBC for air time. Newsflash Nikki, no one watches MSNBC.

  • Ms. Shel

    August 9, 2021 at 8:07 am

    People can criticize Fried but what she is saying about DeSantis is not wrong. He has no response to the increasing COVID rates here and is out fundraising for himself. That’s not what Florida needs from him right now.

    • Ed

      August 9, 2021 at 8:11 am

      Infection rates are up in all 50 states. Is the liberal scream answer removal of all 50?

      • Vera Oliver

        August 9, 2021 at 12:01 pm

        The numbers may be up in all 50 states… but… Florida is the worst right now.

    • Tom

      August 9, 2021 at 8:20 am

      You don’t have a clue.
      She supports the Govs position.
      Fraud is a liar.
      Florida politics should be better.
      She cheapens this pub.

  • Tom

    August 9, 2021 at 8:17 am

    Good job A.G.
    Another press release of nothing from N. Fraud.
    Flip flopper lies, she said 2 weeks ago she does not support mask mandates. She said she does not masks for children.

  • father gabriel

    August 9, 2021 at 8:20 am

    a theater of menace pervades playwright Dr larry Myers
    poetic, prophetic cautionary tale

    “AMBIDEXTERITY”‘

    about vaccination,
    procrastination & Covid forever

    MYERS now has penned climate change fright piece
    “DIXIE FIRE””
    NOT OUR DIXIE here

  • Gary

    August 9, 2021 at 10:26 am

    Nikki Fried is another clueless politician who is buying into this Communist manifesto

  • Liz

    August 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Niki Fried needs to do what she does best…signing off on Florida’s gas pumps.

    • Gary

      August 9, 2021 at 2:49 pm

      Love your message ! That’s all she’s good a at

  • Matthew Lusk

    August 9, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    Hysterical women panic. Ron Desantis does not panic. How absurd.

  • Tom

    August 10, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    Predator Cuomo resigns, fondled dozens. Dem women how you like your party now? Made $5 million off of covid deaths. Really pathetic. Decimated State of NY. Next to fall will be incompetent Cali Gov Newsom. Decimated state, lockdown disaster. Recall in Sept.
    The winner is America’s Governor, Florida’s own Gov Ron. He stands on angels wings compared to those two. Don’t forget the Gov racist in Virginia. You can’t make this stuff up with Dums.
    Unbelievable.

Comments are closed.


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