Lone statewide Democrat takes jab at Governor

Published: May. 28, 2020 at 9:48 PM CDT
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The Florida Governor and Cabinet held their first meeting since the start of the pandemic nearly four months ago Thursday.

Democrat Nikki Fried came out swinging.

The state’s Agriculture Commissioner had hoped to get multiple items on the agenda including a pandemic and budget update, but her request fell on deaf ears.

Commissioner Fried was the only one of four officials to show up in person to the meeting.

She began by requesting a moment of silence for the more than 100,000 American lives lost to COVID-19.

“Alright, very well,” said Governor Ron DeSantis after taking a pause.

It would be the lone statewide elected Democrat’s only request to be honored.

At the end of the meeting she expressed her disappointment.

“Each of us received more than four million votes and were put here to do a job, and for the most critical nearly four months of this pandemic, this cabinet has been left in the dark,” said Fried.

The Governor adjourned the meeting without responding to her comments.

“You guys have a good one; take care,” DeSantis said before hanging up.

After the meeting, Fried told us she’d hoped to hear from the State Surgeon General and Department of Health on a number of pandemic related issues.

"In regards to data analysis, the information coming out of the nursing homes, the prison system,” said Fried.

She’d also requested an update on the state’s financial situation.

The state is projected to have lost $2.4 billion since March.

“And all of those were not fulfilled and were quite frankly ignored,” said Fried.

Fried asserts without the cabinet having these conversations, the public will be less informed and at higher risk as the state reopens.

“My concern is that the public is not getting correct information as we're continuing to open up our state, opening up our beaches, our restaurants, our gyms, our summer camps. It's important that people be able to make their own personal decisions whether to engage in those activities,” said Fried.

Even some seemingly benign requests from the commissioner went ignored, including a request to give an update on food distribution programs and an update on the wildfires raging in the panhandle.

We did reach out to the Governor’s Office for a response to the criticism lobbed by Commissioner Fried, but did not hear back.