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

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.”

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.”

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.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »