As COVID-19 ravages the United States, Florida reported Sunday that it had logged over 15,000 cases. The state broke the record for the highest number of COVID-19 patients in one day. Since the pandemic began, the virus has killed over 130,000 Americans. Yet, President Donald Trump has said he expects the virus to “disappear” sooner or later. COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to soar.
An Alarming Number of COVID-19 Cases
New York previously held the single-day record for most cases, according to the New York Times. In April, the state recorded over 120,000 cases in one day. This surge happened during the worst stage of the outbreak in New York. At the time, the state also had minimal testing capacity. However, the New York Times also reports that Florida has fewer deaths. As of press time, Gizmodo reports that Florida has logged 269,811 cases, with a death toll of 4,242.
The Florida Health Department also said that more than 18,000 people are seeking hospital treatment. Rising numbers mean a higher risk of hospital overcapacity. Despite the spike, state governor Ron DeSantis has downplayed the threat. He told NBC Miami that hospitals still had lots of available beds. He also said the rise in cases did not equal a “surge level.”
Disney World joins other Florida businesses that have reopened. The park has opened its Magic Kingdom Park and Animal Kingdom Park. Florida also does not require people to wear masks. DeSantis has insisted that localities should decide to impose mask rules.
Meanwhile, New York is no longer the pandemic epicenter. The state announced zero deaths on Sunday. Since March 11, this is the first time New York has reported zero COVID-19 deaths.
A State of COVID-19 Denial
DeSantis continues to insist that Florida should not worry. The state reported around 1,000 new cases daily in early June. In July, the number has jumped to more than 10,000. The Tampa Bay Times reports DeSantis saying Florida has a “flatter curve.” This curve also explains why the virus has stayed in Florida longer, according to DeSantis.
Six hospitals in Miami-Dade County have reached capacity, Gizmodo reports. In response, its mayor Carlos Gimenez paused reopening. He has also imposed a curfew and banned indoor dining. “We still have capacity, but it does cause me a lot of concern,” the mayor said.
DeSantis has also said that the situation was okay because only a few people die from COVID-19. About “130,000 of the new cases” were people under 45. These people had a low mortality rate. Only people with underlying conditions should worry.
Florida’s hospitals could also handle the added strain, according to DeSantis. He told people who are sick to continue going to the hospital. However, hospitals have called for more nurses and other staff to help them. The federal government has also helped the state hire 1,000 healthcare workers.