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.
When I called on @GovRonDeSantis to issue a #StayAtHome order nearly two weeks ago, I said then I'd stand with him when he issued it. I do so now.— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) April 1, 2020
Thank you, Governor. Together, we will fight #COVID19, flatten the curve, save lives, and preserve the state we love.
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.”
I want to recognize the difficult choices @GovRonDeSantis has made during this #coronavirus crisis.— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) March 21, 2020
Data shows Florida is a week behind California in #COVID19 cases. So, I'm asking the Governor to issue a statewide "stay-at-home" order.
This difficult decision will save lives.