Gubernatorial primary opponents criticize DeSantis about his attacks on schools with face mask mandates
Davie, Florida – Nikki Fried, Florida Agriculture Commissioner, who announced her candidacy in June, has lobbied against DeSantis’s executive order against face mask mandates at schools.
“Masks work. The kids are safer wearing masks in school during this pandemic. School districts requiring masks had lower cases per capita than those that did not,” Fried said.
According to Fried’s opponent U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a former GOP Florida governor turned Democrat, who announced his candidacy in May, what DeSantis has been doing to pressure school districts is completely wrong and it’s unacceptable.
“To punish people here in Broward County, throughout the state of Florida, for only wanting to keep our kids and our teachers safe, is unimaginable but that’s exactly what the governor is doing,” Crist said.
Both, Fried, 43, and Crist, 65, also criticized DeSantis for prioritizing fundraising out of state over saving lives in Florida during the pandemic and for not listening to infectious disease experts’ recommendations during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We need a governor who cares about people,” Crist said during an event in support of Broward County Public Schools on Thursday in Davie. “We need a governor who has a heart. We need a governor who understands science and healthcare experts.”
According to reports, DeSantis and his political action committee have been way ahead of the Democrats. As of August, Fried had more cash after expenses than Crist with $2.82 million, while Crist had $2.48 million and DeSantis had $53 million.
A Sept. 23-27 poll by VCreek/AMG found most of 405 Florida voters surveyed oppose COVID-19 vaccine mandates and DeSantis leads with 47% of support over Crist and 48% over Fried. DeSantis’ strategy to protect personal choices during the coronavirus pandemic appears to be paying off politically.