Nikki Fried says she would not support statewide mask mandate as Florida governor

"Every county needs to make their own decisions," she said.

click to enlarge Nikki Fried says she would not support statewide mask mandate as Florida governor
Screengrab via CNN

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.


"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.

"Unfortunately, this governor also has handicapped our local governments by not allowing them to do any kind of restrictions, whether it's mask mandates or curfews or trying to put out correct information," she said.

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.

This article first appeared at our sister publication Orlando Weekly. 

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow @cl_tampabay on Twitter.

Scroll to read more Florida News articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]