Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) and Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) have been at odds regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The feud has only heightened as rumors have begun swirling regarding the possibility of Commissioner Fried challenging DeSantis in his upcoming 2022 reelection. As the Governor has been traveling the state, promoting Florida’s partnership with companies like Publix and Wal-Mart providing vaccines for the elderly, Fried aimed “patently false” verbal jabs at DeSantis during a recent appearance on a podcast with Molly Jong-Fast.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Governor DeSantis has received heavy criticism from Florida Democrats, and one of his biggest critics has been Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D). The Governor has been accused of “quid pro quo” regarding vaccine distribution, and Wasserman Schultz called for an investigation shortly after Fried had called for the FBI to “step in.”
“Floridians demand to know the facts,” Wasserman Schultz argued, adding that she has joined other Florida Democrats in calling for “AG Garland to investigate the matter.”
— Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (@RepDWStweets) March 12, 2021
Fried, a vocal critic of DeSantis, was recently asked about the COVID-19 pandemic in the Sunshine State during an appearance on a podcast with Molly Jong-Fast. In response, Fried commented that DeSantis “went MIA for three weeks in November claiming he was working on some statewide plan.” However, she speculates that this was because “he probably had COVID and didn’t want to tell people.”
This comment drew an immediate response from the Governor’s spokesperson, Meredith Beatrice.
Calling the comments “patently false,” Beatrice slammed the Commissioner, saying that it is “disturbing the Commissioner would make claims about someone’s health that are not true.”
A recent survey from Mason-Dixon Polling and Strategy indicated that Governor DeSantis has received a spike in support, currently sitting at a 53% approval rating. When facing Commissioner Fried in a hypothetical gubernatorial race, DeSantis is in the lead with 51% to 41% and 7% of respondents remaining undecided.