Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) is calling for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) to pay close attention to COVID cases and hospitalizations after the first omicron variant case was reported in California. Commissioner Fried has been a vocal critic of the Governor’s response to the COVID pandemic in Florida while the state experiences the lowest cases and hospitalizations in the country.
However, Fried, who has claimed that she has a “great relationship with the White House” is now signaling that Floridians are her "sole responsibility" during the pandemic after President Joe Biden (D) suggested that a national lockdown is off the table “for now.”
Earlier this week, speaking from the White House, President Biden said that his administration does “not yet believe that additional measures will be needed” in order to combat the omicron variant.
At the time, a case had not been reported in the United States. Instead, the President argued that “we have the best vaccine in the world, the best medicines, the best scientists, and we’re learning more every single day.”
“We’ll fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable actions and speed, not chaos and confusion," added President Biden.
Now that an omicron case has been reported in the United States, Commissioner Fried is warning Governor DeSantis that the state should be wary of it spreading across the state.
“If we start seeing increasing numbers, it’s our job to be honest with the people of our state about what’s happening and how to make sure that they’re protecting themselves.”
In Florida, President Biden’s popularity has taken a blow after an August Quinnipiac poll showed that Floridian voters do not approve of President Biden’s current performance and with the Administration’s recent decision to delist FARC from the State Department’s terrorist list.
While speaking to reporters, Commissioner Fried provided remarks regarding the President and his response to the ongoing pandemic. Calling herself “an independently elected individual,” Fried added that her “sole responsibility is taking care of the State of Florida.”
“I have a great relationship with the White House and so when there’s issues, I can have a communication and relationship with them to work through them and find solutions – but my priority is always to people of our state,” she said.