As Florida faces surging cases of COVID-19, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) is calling for Governor Ron DeSantis (R) to make use of unused COVID-19 tests that she claims will soon expire. While she did not provide information on what tests she’s speaking of or where the information derives from, Commissioner Fried said that if Governor DeSantis does not act soon, it would be “negligent at best.”
Commissioner Fried, who is currently facing Florida Rep. Charlie Crist (D) and state Senator Annette Taddeo (D) in the 2022 gubernatorial primaries, recently received her booster shot at a clinic on the Florida A&M University Campus.
After receiving her booster shot, Fried said that “there are people out there that don’t believe COVID is still existing.” “For those people I just say, ‘respect those that do. Respect those that have lost loved ones in this and are taking it seriously,’” she added before affirming that “we are going to get through this.”
Fried has been a vocal critic of the DeSantis Administration’s COVID-19 response, and her recent criticism references unused COVID-19 tests that the administration is allegedly not making use of.
“With omicron infections exploding throughout Florida, I beg of him to release these tests immediately to local counties and cities, and to stand up state-sponsored testing sites,” fried said, adding that “to let these tests expire while Floridians anxiously wait for hours in testing lines is negligent at best, and heartless at worst.”
In her statement, the gubernatorial hopeful also commented that “given the Governor’s lack of transparency throughout this pandemic, there’s no knowing public information about these tests or how soon they expire.”
While DeSantis has not responded to Commissioner Fried’s call, Jeremy Redfern, the spokesperson for the Department of Health, sent out a tweet, commenting that “it’s come to my attention that Nikki Fried needs to turn on that blinker and get back in her lane.”
— Jeremy Redfern (@JeremyRedfernFL) December 30, 2021