In a blistering late night statement Republican Party of Florida Executive Director Helen Aguirre Ferre took Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried to task for what Ferre called an “ill-informed, irresponsible letter on social media that prioritizes politics over helping Floridians who are interested in the vaccine.”
The letter was from Fried to Governor Ron DeSantis about the distribution of the COVID vaccine.
“Either the Commissioner is asleep at the switch or she is intentionally sharing misinformation,” Ferre said.
Ferre said from the beginning Fried had politicized the pandemic rather than working with the Governor to help Floridians. She said Fried, “is clearly only interested in being a partisan hack– Floridians deserve better.”
Ferre highlighted three parts of Fried’s letter that she called “egregious lies.”
“Commissioner Fried incorrectly states that Florida has received over 1.2 million doses of the vaccine. However, this number includes projected vaccine deliveries in the future and is not the actual number of doses that have been sent to Florida. Florida continues to work with county health departments to ensure that shipments are utilized as quickly as possible.
In a letter dated December 30th, Commissioner Fried cites that yesterday the state had a 22.75 percent positivity rate, when in fact the positivity rate was 8.72 percent Commissioner Fried is intentionally citing an obvious data outlier from December 28, as pointed out in a press release issued by the Florida Department of Health. Citing obvious data outliers is dangerous and inflammatory.
Commissioner Fried’s insinuation that the Governor is not properly utilizing the Florida National Guard is ridiculous. In fact, the Governor mobilized the Florida National Guard weeks ago to form strike teams with the Florida Department of Health to begin vaccinating residents of long-term care facilities, making Florida the first state in the nation to begin vaccinating long-term care residents. Since March, the Governor has mobilized the Florida National Guard to coordinate multiple facets of our state’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, and they continue to operate state supported testing sites.”