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Coronavirus cases are surging, and one major US city might shut down again

June 30th, 2020 at 11:49 PM
Coronavirus lockdown
  • If you had to predict where any new coronavirus lockdown might occur again anytime soon in the US, somewhere in Florida would probably be as good a guess as any.
  • The state has reported more than 152,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, making it a hotspot state along with others like California and Texas.
  • This is why Miami’s mayor has said he’s prepared to return the city to lockdown if current trends continue.

Right now, more than 50% of the more than 2.6 million coronavirus cases in the US are coming from hotspot states like Florida, Texas, and California — with Florida, especially, faring so comparatively poorly right now during the coronavirus pandemic that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was asked by reporters on Tuesday whether the state would return to lockdown measures in light of setting record single-day totals of coronavirus infections.

To date, the Sunshine State has reported more than 152,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 3,500 deaths, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. This is why, despite Gov. DeSantis’ assurances to the contrary, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has an entirely different attitude to the coronavirus picture facing his city — going so far as to warn that he’s prepared to return the city to lockdown if the situation doesn’t improve.

Suarez told Business Insider in an interview this week that the state as a whole is being hammered right now by an influx of new coronavirus cases as a result of what he thinks was a rush to reopen the state as well as lax compliance with things like social distancing and wearing face masks.

“People thought this was over,” Suarez, who also happens to be a registered Republican, told BI. “I can’t speak for all Floridians, but … I was the last city to open in Florida and I got criticized for it and I think now people see the wisdom in our more conservative approach.”

Most importantly, he stresses that if hospital capacity reaches a critical stage, he’s fully prepared to reintroduce a lockdown in Miami to slow the spread of the virus. Right now, that slowing is being attempted via things like Suarez’s June 25 order requiring everyone to wear a face mask in public or pay a civil fine of between $50 and $500. It’s something the mayor compares to the widespread acceptance we have toward wearing a seatbelt in cars.

“If you wear a seat belt,” he said, “it doesn’t ensure that you’re not going to get seriously hurt if you have a car accident, but it improves your chances and it’s not a very difficult thing to do.”

Suarez added that President Trump’s refusal to wear a mask in public has hampered his own efforts to convince citizens to do the same. The president, meanwhile, weighed in about the coronavirus on Twitter late Tuesday, adding these as his most recent public remarks on the pandemic:

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.

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