© 2023 90.7 WMFE. All Rights Reserved.
Public Media for Central Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Commissioner Fried Launches Campaign Urging Face Mask Use, Continues to Call on Statewide Mandate

Photo: FDACS
Photo: FDACS

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried has called on Gov. Ron DeSantis to pass a statewide mandate since last month.

Fried says the Be SMART Florida videos encourage residents to wear masks, wash their hands and avoid crowds.

At the press conference announcing the campaign, she called on Gov. DeSantis to pass a mask mandate. She said the measure wouldn’t stop the spread of coronavirus throughout the state, but would reduce it. 

"All it takes is one person who may be asymptomatic living in an area that doesn’t have a mask mandate. And they go to another county. And all it takes for them [is] to go into one convenience store and have an interaction with one person and that entire community can be infected.”

[audio wav="https://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/13005_FRIED_DANIELLE.wav"][/audio]

Fried also requested the governor hold a Cabinet-wide meeting to discuss the state’s coronavirus response.

“That the citizens of our state need to see from the Cabinet that we’re talking about this. That this is a priority of the Florida Cabinet. I want to hear what our plan is. Where are we going from here? And in addition to, I’ve called on for a lot of our agency heads to also be present.”

[audio wav="https://www.wmfe.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/13006_FRIED_DANIELLE.wav"][/audio]

DeSantis has come under increasing pressure the last few weeks for not passing a statewide mask mandate. He said he prefers a county-by-county approach to these ordinances.

Florida reported fewer than 5,000 new coronavirus cases on Monday, but testing was limited throughout the state over the weekend because of Tropical Storm Isaias.
If you'd like to listen to this story, click on the clips above.

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter and fill-in host at WMFE.