During a CNN interview with Poppy Harlow, Agriculture Commissioner and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried stood her ground and refused to give Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis credit for the outcome of the COVID pandemic. Instead, Commissioner Freid, who supported a statewide lockdown, credited the local governments for doing the heavy lift of keeping the virus from spreading but failed to give herself any credit for how the state was “booming” as a result of not having been shut down.
Gov. DeSantis recently called her “lockdown lobbyist” who “does nothing.
“She does nothing, all she does is emote on social media. She’s a lockdown lobbyist. I’ve done more in my first week as governor than she has in her entire time as AG commissioner.”—Gov Ron DeSantis
Harlow asked, “The data backs it up. I mean, Florida has a 4.8 unemployment rate, well below the national average. The per capita death rate from COVID-19 is 27th, nowhere near the highest, do you think he deserves credit for that?
“No, I don’t think he deserves credit,” answered Commissioner Fried. “He had a very laissez-faire, hands-off approach to COVID. First of all, there is a lack of transparency during the entire pandemic. He had no information coming out of our nursing homes. No information was coming out of our prison.”
Fried was interrupted by Harlow where the news answer asserted that DeSantis “ was one of the quickest governors to move to lock down the nursing homes, the opposite of what happened here in New York.”
While Fried gave COVID relief credit to local municipalities for stemming the advancement of the pandemic, local Democratic officials contradicted her assertion that DeSantis should not be given credit.
Fried accused DeSantis of stripping away the power from local governments, but that doesn’t appear to be the case in the very blue county of Broward.
Broward County Mayor and congressional candidate Dale Holness (D) told The Floridian that he worked together with DeSantis to make sure the needs of Broward’s residents were met during the pandemic, and while Fried and others attacked DeSantis, Holness focused on getting the resources to the people.
“Governance is not just running for office always, it’s about doing the things that are necessary to bring resources to the people you represent. Others were calling him names and doing all kinds of stuff, that’s not important for me to do in a crisis,” continued Holness. “What’s important is that I bring the resources to the people of Broward County. Hence, we had the first drive-thru testing site in the state, we had the first two walk-up sites in low-income communities in the state.”
“We worked well together to implement the emergency mandates that we put out because we collaborated with them to make sure we did what was in the best interest of the people. We had differences of opinion. When we are campaigning, that’s the place for it, not when we are governing. When we are governing, we find a way to work collaboratively to benefit the people the best we can.”
Fried also was asked what she thought her “biggest weakness” against DeSantis was.
“You know, I think my greatest weakness is the fact that right now, you know Ron is on a platform, on the national stage and so he’s getting a lot of national PR, but the greatest you know but we’re going to take that and turn it into a positive,” stated Fried.