One Goal, One Voice? DeSantis and Fried go their separate ways with separate COVID video campaigns

Commissioner Nikki Fried announces Be SMART Florida campaign promoting COVID-19 safety on Aug. 3, 2020. Credit: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried announced a series of consumer awareness campaigns intending to unite Floridians in response to COVID-19 in a press conference Monday.

In a “nonpartisan, bilingual, multi-channel awareness campaign,” Be SMART Florida is a campaign that stands for “Social distance, Mask up, Avoid crowds, Remember to wash or sanitize hands, and Throw away disposable items like masks, gloves, and wipes,” a press release on the campaign said.

Although Fried said that the campaign has been planned for weeks, the announcement comes days after Gov. Ron DeSantis released his own call-to-action video called “One Goal, One Florida.”

His initiative asks Floridians to protect vulnerable populations, practice proper hygiene, practice social distancing, and wear a mask.

Fried has been vocal in her opposition with DeSantis’s handling of Florida’s COVID-19 response, and said that her frustration with the governor’s response is one of the factors that led to the new consumer awareness campaign.

In the press conference, she said that her campaign differs from his by being “multidimensional, multi-channel, from PSA announcements to videos.”

“I would certainly welcome the governor to create one of these videos himself so that we are speaking in one voice,” Fried said in response to a reporter’s question at the press conference.

Sunday, State Rep Randy Fine announced on a Facebook post that he was being hospitalized for COVID-19, Florida Today reported.

Fine is a Republican representing parts of Brevard County and one of three Florida lawmakers who have recently tested positive for COVID-19. He is the first to be hospitalized.

Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University, majoring in English with a focus in editing, writing, and media. While at FSU, she served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine, Nomadic Noles. Last fall, she fulfilled another editorial internship with Rowland Publishing, where she wrote for the Tallahassee Magazine, Emerald Coast Magazine, and 850 Business Magazine. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat. She spends her downtime traveling to all corners of Florida and beyond to practice lindy hop.