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Commissioner Fried says DeSantis is “failing to lead” Florida during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 1:40 PM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 14:05:36-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, who joined Florida legislatures in urging a statewide stay-at-home order, now says Gov. DeSantis is “failing to lead” the state of Florida during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, when DeSantis announced he would issue the safer-at-home order, Fried praised his decision.

However, on Friday, Commissioner Fried said that the safer-at-home was "filled with glaring loopholes as the details emerge." She also called him out for "quietly" issuing a controversial executive order amending the initial one.

While also being criticized for the lack of public notification about this order, the governor has also gotten flak for what the amendment does. According to the order, the guidelines laid out in the original order now supersede any conflicting order from local officials in response to COVID-19.

Fried also mentioned her views on the Governor's opposition in issuing a statewide stay-at-home order and for "severe backlogs and delays" in making decisions.

Fried offered the following statement:

“Florida needs leadership now more than ever, but Governor DeSantis is failing to lead. His safer-at-home order is filled with glaring loopholes as the details emerge. He quietly issued a second executive order that weakens stay-at-home restrictions, allowing mass gatherings on beaches and in religious institutions, creating enormous confusion for local officials, and putting Floridians and businesses further at risk after weeks of inaction. He’s deflecting responsibility for his unemployment system fiasco, leaving millions of Floridians without the economic help they need indefinitely. At a time when our state most needs steady, accountable, transparent leadership, the Governor is unwilling or unable to provide it. Governor, you need to correct these failures now, before our people and economy are further endangered.”

Commissioner Fried initially asked Gov. DeSantis to issue a stay-at-home order on March 20.