Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) is once again raising concerns about the Omicron COViD-19 variant. This week, she called for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) to address the ongoing pandemic, saying that the state “cannot continue to burden Floridians.”
Commissioner Fried has often butted heads with Governor DeSantis over the proper response to the pandemic. While Commissioner Fried has vocally supported mask and vaccine mandates, Governor DeSantis has opposed both, questioning President Biden’s efforts from the White House to implement the responses.
Instead, the Governor’s reelection team vowed that he “will keep standing up for what’s right, protecting jobs and businesses, and defending liberty.”
Democrats do not agree, and this caused Commissioner Fried to direct a letter to the Governor, asking him to enact measures against the spread of the variant.
“Governors across the nation are being called upon to meet the urgency of this moment and redouble their efforts to fight this virus, and your fellow governors, both Republican and Democrat, are stepping up to the challenge,” wrote Fried.
In the letter, Fried called for Governor DeSantis to increase the number of testing facilities that are state-run, and she also called for DeSantis to increase the booster shots in nursing homes, to help local governments create vaccination and testing sites and to get the Division of Emergency Management involved in responding to the pandemic. Moreover, Fried called for DeSantis to increase health safety efforts in school districts.
“We cannot continue to burden Floridians with unnecessarily long lines and frustration,” wrote Fried, commenting that the state cannot “risk the health and lives of our most vulnerable citizens, due to inaction and political ideology.”
This month, COVID cases have gone up, which has resulted in hospitalizations going up.
According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1,556 inpatients were stricken with COVID-19.