Miami Mayor Gimenez: ‘Protests Had a Lot to Do with’ Florida Coronavirus Spike
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For some bizarre reason, many in the media are questioning the recent spike in coronavirus cases in a handful of states.
The answer seems obvious what could have possibly contributed to the spike.
Spoiler: perhaps it was the thousands of people protesting in all 50 states following the death of George Floyd.
During an interview Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez made that exact argument and said he believes the recent protests certainly played a role -- to some extent -- in the current spike in COVID-19 cases.
Gimenez also said socializing at beaches, bars, and restaurants played a role in the flare-up.
“Some of the protests that we had here, I think, contributed to it, so we saw a rapid rise in young people being positive for COVID-19 around mid-June,” he said. “I think that had a lot to do with probably socializing, young people going to parties, maybe graduation parties at home.”
“I think obviously the protests had a lot to do with it,” he said. “We had, you know, thousands of young people together outside, a lot of them not wearing masks. And we know when you do that, and you are talking, and you are chanting, etc., that really spreads the virus.”
“So absolutely, the protests had something to do with it,” Gimenez continued. “But also our people, our residents, did not — I think they let their guard down and started to socialize. And again, that also has to do with it. So it’s all the above. I’m not saying it’s just that, but it was a contributing factor.”
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week that he does not plan to shut down the state’s economy again.
“We’re not shutting down. We’re going to go forward we’re going to continue to protect the most vulnerable, we’re going to urge, continue to advise, particularly our elderly population, to maintain social distancing and avoid crowds,” DeSantis said.
In the last 24 hours, Florida health officials reported 2,783 new cases. The six highest daily increases in Florida have come in the last week. It also marks the 14th day in a row of over 1,000 new COVID-19 cases. The Florida Department of Health reported the total number of coronavirus related deaths is now at 2,993 and the total number of reported cases is more than 80,000.
The number of tests conducted daily peaked three weeks ago and the percentage of positive tests is now over 6%, more than double the rate of 2.3% in late May.
DeSantis said Tuesday the big jump in testing numbers, which happened in late May, was due to a backlog of tests from private companies that all hit at one time, dropping the percent positive to around 2% for a week.
Though, that percent positive number has slowly increased in the last three weeks, according to data from the Department of Health shared by DeSantis.
DeSantis said he won’t be mandating the use of face masks and that he recommends anyone wear a face mask when it’s not possible to maintain six feet of distance.
“You don’t need to be wearing it if you’re going for a jog or you’re on the beach. So some of this stuff can get out of hand. I want to be more reasonable about it.”