Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried — a Democratic gubernatorial contender — wants Gov. Ron DeSantis to take the new COVID-19 omicron variant seriously.
She also, however, is willing to break ranks with President Joe Biden. The Democratic President this week said lockdown mitigation measures are off the table “for now.”
“I take my cues from the people of our state and what the people of our state want,” Fried told Florida Politics.
Fried’s suggested willingness to depart from Biden administration policy mark the gubernatorial hopeful’s latest approach to the COVID-19 pandemic.
An outspoken critic of DeSantis, Fried has garnered national media attention by chiding the Republican Governor’s cavalier-like approach to the pandemic.
She encouraged DeSantis to monitor case and hospitalization numbers moving forward. She also noted much is still unknown about the new variant. Health leaders expect to know more in the coming weeks.
“If we start seeing increasing numbers, it’s our job to be honest with the people of our state about what’s happening and how to make sure that they’re protecting themselves,” Fried added.
Fried has previously criticized DeSantis for misrepresenting COVID-19 case numbers in Florida. In October, she hosted a series of COVID-19 news conferences to fill an alleged void of virus-related information. Florida halted daily COVID-19 reports in July under DeSantis’ leadership.
“The job of an elected official is to be honest and transparent,” Fried said. “Always.”
Fried’s willingness to go rogue comes after an August Quinnipiac poll showed most Florida voters disapprove of Biden’s performance.
More recently, the Biden administration delisted a Colombian rebel group — dubbed FARC — from a terrorist organization list. The move reportedly angered Colombian American voters, a key demographic.
Speaking to press, Fried shrugged off questions about her allegiance to Biden. Despite a “great relationship with the White House,” Fried said Floridians come first.
“I am an independently elected individual,” Fried said. “My sole responsibility is taking care of the State of Florida. I have a great relationship with the White House and so when there’s issues, I can have a communication and relationship with them to work through them and find solutions — but my priority is always to people of our state.”
Fried’s Democratic Primary path is all but paved. Before facing DeSantis, she must overcome former Florida Republican Gov. Charlie Crist. Crist is now a Democratic Congressman. She also faces Democratic Sen. Annette Taddeo, Crist’s former running mate.
December 1, 2021 at 9:03 am
Honest and transparent. Uh huh. Fried is a fraud. Go away Nikki. Meanwhile she says nothing about the price of fuel in Florida. Hey Consumer Affairs / Ag Commissioner, you know the one that has her name on every gas pump in the state of Florida. I am paying over one dollar more per gallon this year vs last year. You endorsed Joe, so what is your transparent plan for the citizens of Florida at the gas pump?
December 1, 2021 at 10:38 am
She is a liberal hack. How about those financial disclosures.
December 1, 2021 at 11:09 pm
It wouldn’t be because Joe is negative -13 in Florida. Upside down in 40 states, including blue ones.
Classic fraud from nikki.
December 2, 2021 at 8:32 am
She will release them when trump release his financials that he promised to do 5 yrs ago
December 2, 2021 at 2:15 pm
When do we get to see Obama’s records that he paid millions to hide? All we saw was his phony baloney birth certificate.
December 2, 2021 at 7:10 am
This article implies that Biden has suggested a lockdown which is not true. Naturally he does not take anything off the table as he carefully monitors the development of the virus. Fried takes the same approach. Both are using an intelligent, common sense approach to protect people. How sad that so many in Florida prefer the chaotic mess created by trump and carried on by DeSantis.
December 2, 2021 at 7:50 am
Fried is as pathetic as Val Demmings. Demmings couldn’t even keep track of her service weapon.
December 3, 2021 at 3:26 pm
It concerns me when people link Biden to intelligence. A rational person would conclude since January is not and his lapses in memory are embarrassing and a joke on the national stage.
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