How Nikki Fried says she’d have handled pandemic in Florida

Reporter: Morgan Rynor Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Credit: WINK News.

We’re getting a better idea of what the state would’ve looked like had another governor been in place.

Gov. Ron DeSantis (Fla-R) says Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (Fla-D) would have mismanaged the pandemic, calling her a “lockdown lobbyist.”

Fried is campaigning for the Democratic nomination in the 2022 gubernatorial race. We spoke to her recently about how she would have governed Florida during the pandemic.

Tuesday, Fried announced she was running for governor.

β€œImagine what we can do if we break the whole rigged system,” Fried said in a campaign advertisement.

Wednesday, DeSantis called her a “lockdown lobbyist.”

β€œI’ve done more for the state of Florida in my first week as governor than she had done in her entire time as the agriculture secretary,” DeSantis said publicly.

β€œI take kind of a badge of honor that that we are obviously rattling the governor,” Fried told WINK News.

DeSantis claimed Fried would have locked kids out of school for the entire year. We asked her if that is how she would have acted. We also asked her if she would have closed down businesses during the height of the pandemic.

β€œThe answer is no,” Fired said. β€œI was very strong and saying that we should have locked down and we should have closed on our state a little bit earlier.”

Fried told us she supported the governor’s decision to open back up.

β€œHe left me out for vengeance and for spite of the reopening taskforce,” Fired said. β€œI still, at the end of the day, supported his plan that he put out. I thought it was methodical. I thought it was well based on science. The problem was he completely threw that out the window.”

Fried said DeSantis created orders that were confusing to local governments, local businesses, picked which could open up first and which had to wait.

β€œIt was like it was his way or the highway, and including threatening them that, if you don’t open back up under my orders, which he changed three times, that we’re going to withhold funding,” Fried said.

Fried must secure the Democratic nomination before she can run against DeSantis for governor. Among opponents in the primary is Charlie Christ (Fla-D), former Republican governor of Florida now currently serving as a Florida U.S. representative as a Democrat.

According to St. Pete Polls, Crist has a a big lead over fried — 55% to 22%.

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