Last Wednesday, we reported that the only statewide Democratic elected official in Florida, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, accused Gov. Ron DeSantis of making a political decision over who has been allowed to have access to the COVID-19 vaccine recently in the state.
We also reported last Friday, that DeSantis announced that flags will be lowered at half-staffed to honor the passing of beloved conservative icon Rush Limbaugh.
Fried attempted to undermine DeSantis again today, announcing that she won’t lower flags at state offices under her direction to honor Limbaugh.
In a statement, Fried said she will not observe that directive because such an honor should “reflect unity, not division” and that “Lowering to half-staff the flag of the United States of America is a sacred honor that pays respect to fallen heroes and patriots.”
“It is not a partisan political tool. Therefore, I will notify all state offices under my direction to disregard the Governor’s forthcoming order to lower flags for Mr. Limbaugh — because we will not celebrate hate speech, bigotry, and division,” Fried added.
State Rep Anthony Sabatini decried the statement by Sabatini and said in a tweet, “I believe the Florida Legislature should immediately convene in an emergency session and pass a law creating a uniform Flag policy and rid Commissioner @nikkifried of this authority—which is a gross abuse of power.”
I believe the Florida Legislature should immediately convene in an emergency session and pass a law creating a uniform Flag policy and rid Commissioner @nikkifried of this authority—which is a gross abuse of powerhttps://t.co/mhnr2RUegf— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) February 22, 2021
From the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
Fried’s agency — the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services — oversees numerous state offices, including nine regional licensing offices, 38 state forests and 23 agricultural law enforcement inspection stations.
Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said during Monday’s news briefing that President Joe Biden will direct flags on federal property to be lowered to half-staff to mark 500,000 American deaths in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other Democrats have joined Fried in blasting DeSantis’ directive. Oakland Park Mayor Jane Bolin issued a statement Sunday calling on cities to challenge the planned directive, according to a report on the Florida Politics’ website.
Fried also went on CNN after the vaccine accusations and essentially accused DeSantis of racism.
Tweeting out a clip of the interview, Fried said, “While @GovRonDeSantis rolls out the red carpet for donors and political allies, he’s pulling the rug out from under communities of color. It’s wrong and potentially illegal.”
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