Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), who’s expected to launch her gubernatorial run against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) after the 2021 legislative session concludes, held a press conference this week to discuss COVID-19 vaccine distribution plans that the state has taken to address the pandemic.
However, DeSantis has received criticism from both Democrats and Commissioner Fried over his vaccination rollout. And while the Governor has doubled down by highlighting the State’s partnership with stores like Publix and Wal-Mart to provide the vaccine for residents, Fried and Democrats are focused on who exactly was getting the vaccines.
Still, the Commissioner pointed out her concerns and has now asked the FBI “to step in” and investigate the matter.
In the press conference, Fried cited her time “as a former public defender and the head of the felony division” for being able to recognize “fact patterns.” "Give campaign contribution big dollars, get special access to vaccines,” said Fried, as she alleged that vaccine pop-up locations were sprouting in areas where residents had donated greatly to the Governor’s gubernatorial campaign in 2018.
On Twitter, Fried shared her comments in the press conference, sharing that “if red carpet vaccine distribution for political contributions isn’t public corruption, I don’t know what is.”
If red carpet vaccine distribution for political contributions isn’t public corruption, I don’t know what is.
— Nikki Fried (@nikkifried) March 4, 2021
Governor DeSantis has not responded to the Commissioner’s claims, but a recent Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy poll indicates that Governor DeSantis’ support in the state has risen to a 53% approval rating. So, DeSantis doesn't have to acknowledge her claims.
In a hypothetical 2022 gubernatorial race, DeSantis crushes Fried with 51% to 41% with 7% of those asked remaining undecided.