Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is imploring Gov. Ron DeSantis to act on a significant amount of unused COVID-19 tests she claims will expire soon.
Like the rest of the country, Florida is experiencing long lines at COVID-19 testing sites as the omicron variant sweeps the nation. However, Fried, a Democrat hoping to deny DeSantis a second term in 2022, says a significant number of Florida’s on-hand tests are set to expire “imminently.”
Fried is begging DeSantis and the Department of Health to use the tests before they go bad.
“With omicron infections exploding throughout Florida, I beg of him to release these tests immediately to local counties and cities, and to stand up state-sponsored testing sites,” Fried said in a statement. “To let these tests expire while Floridians anxiously wait for hours in testing lines is negligent at best, and heartless at worst.”
Fried did not include details on the tests she says are expiring, and she did not say where she heard the news.
“Given the Governor’s lack of transparency throughout this pandemic, there’s no known public information about these tests or how soon they expire,” Fried said.
DOH did not immediately respond to Florida Politics’ request for comment. But Health Department spokesperson Jeremy Redfern mocked and dismissed Fried’s concern in a tweet.
“It’s come to my attention that (Nikki Fried) needs to turn on that blinker and get back in her lane,” he wrote.
Fried, who is in a field of three Democratic candidates vying to lead their party atop the 2022 ticket, has frequently criticized DeSantis for his pandemic response. During Florida’s summer delta wave, she held regular news conferences to announce the latest COVID-19 data, sometimes saying she was stepping up to do the Governor’s job for him.
Fried is also among the Florida Democrats who have called on DeSantis to set up state-run testing sites. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings has similarly made that push.
On Thursday, officials confirmed 58,013 new cases in Florida in the last day, a record one-day high for the state. Only New Jersey and New York, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, had more COVID-19 cases per capita than Florida in the last week, per U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data updated Wednesday afternoon.
It's come to my attention that @HealthyFla has a significant number of #COVID19 tests stockpiled and set to expire.
I beg of @GovRonDeSantis: release these tests immediately to local governments, and set up state-run testing sites.
To let them expire is negligent, or heartless. pic.twitter.com/VF2T8w1HCo
— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) December 30, 2021
December 30, 2021 at 5:52 pm
No no no Nikki, DeDumbass wants less cases, not more.
In the words of his hero;
‘if we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases’
January 7, 2022 at 11:20 am
Abbot was initially assigned a 6 month expiratory date. HOWEVER, Abbot was recently granted an additional 6 months from manufacter date. So kits “expired” in Dec 2021 are actually good until June 2022
Those 1 million Florida test are worth gold!!!
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