News and Analysis

Democrats Turn On DeSantis Challenger For Daring To Celebrate Mask-Free Flight
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 20: Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and a Democratic candidate for 2022 Florida gubernatorial race, arrives for a ceremony with U.S. President Joe Biden as he welcomes the 2021 NFL Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the South Lawn of the White House on July 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Democrats quickly turned on one of their own — Florida gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried — when she dared to celebrate her first mask-free flight.

Fried shared a photo of herself smiling, maskless, onboard her first flight since the mask mandate for all domestic air travel was overturned just one day before.

“Peace out to the TSA mask mandate, but also peace and respect to others, whether wearing a mask or not,” she captioned the photo.

Fried was not alone in her desire to celebrate, either. Within hours of the mandate being lifted, dozens of videos from airports and even planes — where in some cases, the end of the mask mandate was announced mid-flight — showing passengers and airline employees alike cheering and applauding the news.

Potential opponent Ron DeSantis was quick to celebrate the mandate’s end as well, saying, “Finally we have judicial relief for that unscientific mask mandate on airplanes. They’ve treated these flight attendants horribly for so long, the passengers horribly. […] Our view is very simple: zero mandates of any kind.”

But Fried still must best former Republican Charlie Crist — who earned the endorsement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — in the Democratic primary before she can face DeSantis. And a number of Democrats made it clear that, after seeing her post about flying mask-free, they will be voting another way.

“Hey, it was the CDC not the TSA. Seems a candidate for governor should know this. Me, I’ll be voting for the candidate endorsed by the smart, savvy Speaker Pelosi, @CharlieCrist. He’s already proven he knows how to govern,” @teacher97 tweeted.

Health care advocate Kendall Brown added, “Hey Nikki, quick question: How is this you showing “peace and love” to the disabled and immunocompromised Floridians you’re asking to vote for you? You know, the people who can no longer even CONSIDER traveling by air (even when necessary) because of the mask mandate repeal?”

“I’m also going to ask for a refund of my donation to your campaign. Peace out,” hospital employee Alexandra Halaby said.

Journalist Sarah Szczypinski asked, “Do you have a child under 5? An ill family member? What about the rest of the people on that flight? A mask is such a small thing to protect the vulnerable, especially if you’re serious about leadership. This isn’t the flex you think it is.”

Fried later responded, saying that she planned to read all the responses and went on to tout the success of the vaccines and a return to normalcy.

“I’ll read all your takes, but the mandates are dropped, vaccines are working, things are getting back to normal, and it’s okay for a Democrat to say it — because we made it possible. I love y’all,” she tweeted.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Democrats Turn On DeSantis Challenger For Daring To Celebrate Mask-Free Flight