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Fried denounces Florida special session, calls it a political stunt

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried says the governor's special session addresses a "manufactured crisis" to feed his political base. Image: The Florida Channel

Florida’s only Democrat elected statewide denounced Gov. Ron DeSantis’ special session called for later this month targeting COVID-19 restrictions.

Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried says lawmakers should focus instead on why so many Floridians have died from COVID-19.

DeSantis called the special session for Nov. 15th in response to federal and local efforts to fight the pandemic.

Citing personal freedom and parental rights, he wants lawmakers to block COVID-19 vaccine mandates and strip schools of the power to require masks or impose quarantines.

Fried, who hopes to run against DeSantis next year, says the session is a political stunt.

“We owe it to the nearly 60,000 to look at what happened during this pandemic, what went right, what went so wrong that resulted in so many preventable deaths after we had the tools to beat this through vaccination,” she said during a press conference. “That is what deserves a special session.”

Fried says she hopes lawmakers will rein in DeSantis’ “extremist” requests.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.