At the end of last week, state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried urged Gov. Ron DeSantis to implement a statewide “stay-at-home” order in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
Fried, the only Democrat holding statewide office in Florida, weighed in on her request. She said she knew DeSantis was facing a series of tough decisions.
“I want to recognize the difficult choices the governor has had to make in this public health crisis,” she said. “No governor in recent history would have expected to have to make a decision like California, New York, or Illinois have made in the past 72 hours. Shutting down one of the nation’s largest states is a decision that will have an economic impact – but it is a decision that will save lives.
“Based on the data, we know we are a week behind California’s vast increase in COVID-19 cases,” Fried continued. “The individuals and businesses I’ve spoken with are growing more anxious by the day. As the nation’s third largest state, we need to go further, and we cannot afford to lose another week. I am asking the governor to consider implementing a statewide ‘stay-at-home’ order, closing all non-essential businesses for a reasonable timeframe, after which time the situation could be reassessed. A piecemeal approach of closing certain communities and businesses risks sowing further confusion.
“I encourage the governor to take this decisive action today to save lives and preserve Florida’s economy for our shared future. I will stand by the governor should he make this difficult decision, and I implore him to do so now,” Fried concluded.