Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried Holds COVID-19 Briefing As Delta Variant Cases Rise

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Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried urged unvaccinated Floridians to “roll up their sleeves and get the shots today” during her Wednesday afternoon COVID-19 briefing.

Fried asked those individuals who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, along with communities and local governments, to help explain the importance of getting vaccinated and to fight the spread of misinformation regarding the vaccine.

The commissioner also advised all Floridians to follow CDC guidelines that direct individuals to wear a mask, continue healthy habits such as hand washing, social distance when possible, and avoid entering elevators with those who you do not know to help slow the spread of the virus.

“These are things that we already know; we have been living with these things for almost a year and a half,” Fried said. “We know the ways to get in front of this, to slow down the spread of the virus. Get the vaccine, which we didn’t have at this time last year.”

Fried said that the vaccine would also protect the state’s recent “economic drive,” the success of which she attributed vaccinations. Fried said that the recent rise in cases could deter visitors from visiting Florida, negatively affecting the state’s strong tourism industry.

During the question and answer period, Fried criticized Gov. Ron DeSantis, whom she’s challenging in next year’s gubernatorial race, for his confusing messaging regarding the vaccine. She specifically cited the fact that DeSantis elected not to receive the vaccine in front of the public and that members of his administration are just now receiving the shot.

Fried ended the conference by clarifying details of reports released Tuesday regarding the movement to suspend 22 concealed carry licenses of Floridians charged in connection with the events of Jan. 6 at the Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

About Alex Flanagan

Alex is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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