Nikki Fried: Ron DeSantis ‘manufactured’ vax mandate fight for ‘extremist base’

Fried called the Session a taxpayer-funded political stunt.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is labeling the Special Session on vaccine mandates an “extremist proxy war” for Gov. Ron DeSantis.

After beginning a press conference Tuesday with a moment of silence, Fried told reporters the Governor can’t even honor the nearly 60,000 Floridians who died from COVID-19 with a 60-second recognition.

“It’s a disgrace for the Governor to (be) taking a victory lap when so many preventable deaths happened on his watch,” she said. “That is what demands a Special Session, not this manufactured crisis that the Governor has created to feed his extremist base and score political points.”

Fried, the lone Democrat elected statewide and a gubernatorial candidate, denounced the Governor’s proclamation for a Special Session as his latest in a series of “taxpayer-funded stunts” to “score political points for his future presidential run.” Democrats say the Special Session could cost the state nearly $1 million.

DeSantis’ COVID-19 response has catapulted him to the top of the potential 2024 Republican presidential field, barring a run from former President Donald Trump. The Governor’s political committee has raised millions per month since September, including more than $5 million in August and September each.

“He should not be profiting while the people of Florida are still suffering,” Fried said. “He should not be claiming victory while Floridians are still dying and when nearly 60,000 lives have been lost.”

While the Governor’s Office has touted Florida’s case rate, which is now the lowest in the nation, Fried credited the medical community, school boards, local governments and vaccine outreach organizers for bringing that rate down.

Polling last week from the Florida Chamber of Commerce found DeSantis leading Fried 9 points in a head-to-head. U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, another Democrat running to defeat DeSantis in 2022, trailed the Governor 7 points.

Fried suggested special sessions could have been called on unemployment, struggling businesses, education, the Piney Point disaster and the Surfside condo collapse.

Apart from DeSantis’ central call to ban vaccine mandates, the Governor is also asking lawmakers to provide recourse for employees affected by vaccine policies and to strengthen the Parents’ Bill of Rights regarding school masking policies.

However, the vision for the Special Session, slated to begin Nov. 15, isn’t entirely clear. Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls have equivocated, saying they intend to support businesses and Floridians against President Joe Biden‘s “illegal and unconstitutional” vaccine mandate without saying they will pass state laws preventing vaccine mandates.

At least one Republican lawmaker called Fried’s criticisms premature until the Legislature rolls out its plan.

“I do hope that this Legislature steps up to the plate, (does) what’s right for the people of our state and pulls back the request from the Governor,” Fried said.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Michael Paris

    November 2, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Nikki “Big Sugar” Weed, you are hopelessly corrupt and you are throwing rock! DeSantis is going to obliterate you, Crist and Taddeo. We love our governor. If you have evidence of corruption, other than your own, go to the FBI.

  • Alex

    November 2, 2021 at 12:35 pm


    She’s 100% correct.

    DeAnus is a fraud, just like Trump and his moronic border crisis/wall that Mexico was paying for.

  • PeterH

    November 2, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Nikki Fried:
    Ron DeSantis ‘manufactured’ vax mandate AND critical race theory as a dog whistle for his ‘extremist confederate base’

    Voters have the ability to take back Florida from the remnants of Trump’s deplorables. Register to vote and vote! Get rid of Trump’s Republican apologist!

    • Alex

      November 2, 2021 at 1:23 pm

      DeAnus’s fraudulent anti-vaccine stupidity doesn’t fire up the ignorant cult as well as the fake fight against CRT that was never taught to, or planned to be taught to the vast majority of kids.


      Because it doesn’t ignite racist hatred.

      • just sayin

        November 3, 2021 at 8:57 am

        Right… the voters in Virginia were racist last night when they elected the first black LG, the first cuban-american in statewide office, and a moderate white guy to replace Governor “C–nman” and his blackface. Sure. Keep telling yourself that.

        • Alex

          November 3, 2021 at 5:11 pm

          You sure are sensitive about it huh?


          Oh, and I noticed you haven’t denied it.

          (now try to tell me I’m racist somehow, lol)

      • Tom

        November 4, 2021 at 6:27 am

        No, You are just ignorant and a hater along with the weasel peter h.

        DeSantis and the Repub. party are blue collar, middle class, bottom up party. Trump and the Repub. party tax cuts helped millions of Americans improve their economic status.

        Youngkin in VA carried Hispanics and received 13% of African American vote. Working people are supporting the Repub. as they offer hope.

        Peter H and Socialist Alex cling to a philosophy that is a detriment to society.

        The conversion is substantive. The new Lt Gov and Attorney Gen. in VA are minorities.

        Repub party is the party of hope.
        America’s Governors blue print is being adopted, DeSantis is the leader.

    • Tom

      November 4, 2021 at 7:48 am

      Loser weasel peter h.
      What a awful night in VA for you and Lincoln predator org. Your add backfired.

      Two minorities elected state wide
      Future Gov & Senator, no doubt.

      LMAO, loser H.

  • Niki fried is a commie

    November 2, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    Desantis is the best we love him!! Niki fried offers nothing to Floridians her goal is to destroy Florida plus is funded by $oro$

  • Ron Ogden

    November 2, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    Vacuous old hack can’t even come up with her own phrase. Gad! these Demis are lame.

  • Impeach Biden

    November 3, 2021 at 4:42 am

    Virginia is just the beginning. 2022 will see a Red Storm rising throughout the country. The squad is sinking the Democrats and Nikki you stand absolutely no chance in defeating one of the most popular Governor’s in the U.S.

  • zhombre

    November 3, 2021 at 8:41 am

    Easy re-election for DeSantis in 2022.

  • Tom

    November 4, 2021 at 7:00 am

    No doubt my conservative brothers.
    It’s a red cyclone rising. 40 to 50 net US House seats will flip to GOP. Florida GOP will pick up more local elected seats across the state.

    DeSantis is America’s Governor, the haters above, beyond have nothing to offer. The Dems don’t want to run on issues. They offer camouflage.

    Lincoln org. has been shown to be a loser, hater org. They had a terrible night in VA. Two minority elected officials and Gov with State House flipping. Lincoln has no credibility like peter h. Pity the fools.

  • Dewey

    November 4, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Break Free from the corrupt Two Party System “OWNED” by the Oligarchs, Banksters, and Intel.

    These fake fights by Party are just that……. BS. Nothing changes.

    The mere fact this Vax is being imposed with no liability or Transparency?

    The coverup on the US funding research at the Wuhan Lab is our problem and it is Bipartisan.

    President Trump said Thursday he would prepare the U.S. military to disburse COVID-19 vaccines when they are ready.

    “We’re mobilizing our military and other forces, but we’re mobilizing our military on the basis that we do have a vaccine,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo.”

    “President-Elect Biden to deploy FEMA, National Guard to set up vaccine clinics”

    A Mandate was planned from the beginning. It was best to lower the % of people affected by first using propaganda to vax a majority rather than force it right away which creates suspicion.

    Regardless of who was in the WH the next headlines are

    “Under emergency provisions, the mandate would go into effect immediately ”

    The Jab should be your Biz, Your Choice .

    This will not stop as they move to gain complete control over people globally – Research WHO the INF and World Bank they plainly lay out their goals themselves no conspiracy theory needed.

    Look Beyond These Parties who distract you and divide. The puppet Masters control whoever is in power. They control who can run.

    Wake UP

    • Tom

      November 6, 2021 at 7:26 am

      DeSantis re elect in 22, bigly!

Comments are closed.


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