Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said she would not support a statewide mask mandate in Florida if she were governor.
Fried, who is challenging Florida governor Ron DeSantis in 2022, made the sort of case that Republicans used to make before they settled on draconian punishment of the poor and vulnerable from on high. In short, she felt that mask mandates should be left up to local governments, who best know how to respond to their ongoing health crises.
Nikki Fried, the Democratic gubernatorial challenger to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, says she does not favor a statewide mask mandate.— New Day (@NewDay) August 2, 2021
"I certainly would want every school board to have the power" to make the right decisions for their community, she addedhttps://t.co/dCYhvvtdyA pic.twitter.com/0QAWWYkDmm
"Every county needs to make their own decisions," she said. "No statewide mask mandate but I certainly would like every school board to have the power to make decisions for their own communities."
Fried noted that DeSantis has stripped local authorities of all abilities to make decisions for the health of their citizens. Recent executive orders from the governor have removed counties' authority to declare mandates around masking and social distancing. Last week, he did the same for state school boards, backing the order with the threat of removing funding from schools that require masks.
Florida is currently experiencing record levels of coronavirus infection and spread. The highest daily case count on record came this weekend and the state just broke its record for hospitalizations on Sunday. More than 100,000 new cases are being reported in the state every single day and over 10,000 Floridians are currently hospitalized.
Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.