Mike Pence: Risk for the average American ‘remains low’ after first two Florida coronavirus deaths
VP Mike Pence will make the case to Hispanic voters in Florida.

Pence appeared in Broward County Saturday after the first two positive tests in the county.

Vice President Mike Pence and Gov. Ron DeSantis called for calm Saturday afternoon amid news two Floridians had died after contracting the new coronavirus (also known as the COVID-19 virus).

Pence and DeSantis appeared at Port Everglades in Broward County for the Saturday afternoon news conference. U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott attended as well, as did several cruise ship company leaders.

Pence was in Fort Lauderdale as part of a previously scheduled visit to meet with port officials regarding their preparedness for the potential spread of the virus. After that visit was scheduled, officials reported the first two cases of the COVID-19 virus in Broward County.

“In many ways, Florida is the heart of the cruise line industry. We recognize that. It’s a destination not just for Americans, but for people around the world,” Pence said in prepared remarks delivered Saturday.

“While the risk for the average American of contracting the coronavirus remains low, it is essential that we find ways to mitigate that risk to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.”

Just minutes after that gathering ended, the Florida Department of Health announced another presumptive positive case, this time in Charlotte County. There are now eight Florida residents inside the state who have tested positive, with a ninth non-Florida resident also testing positive.

Reports from early Saturday detailed that a 65-year-old man and a 75-year-old man — both in Broward County — had tested positive for the virus using a state test. Both men had reportedly been put into isolation.

In addition to the Broward County cases, officials have also confirmed two deaths from the coronavirus elsewhere in Florida. Both of those individuals were in their 70s.

One of those individuals was man in Santa Rosa County with underlying health issues. Another elderly person also passed away in Lee County. Both had traveled overseas.

The death rate for those who test positive for the virus has vacillated between 2% and 3.5%. However, those calculations do not include individuals who may have contracted the virus, but are asymptomatic and thus survive without incident. Including those individuals would lower the death rate, but it’s unclear how many such individuals there are worldwide.

Most who do show symptoms develop a fever or cough and may have trouble breathing, though they do recover. However, older individuals and those with underlying health risks are susceptible to developing more severe symptoms.

DeSantis urged Floridians to listen to health experts from the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention going forward.

“Follow the CDC’s guidance on this,” DeSantis said Saturday.

“They recommend for people who are elderly and have these health conditions [to] stay at home if you need to. Avoid large crowds. Make sure you have a couple weeks of supplies of medical and food just in case you’re in a situation where you need to isolate. Those are prudent steps that people can take and that will help our efforts here as we work to contain the spread of the virus.”

No cases have yet been reported in Miami-Dade or Palm Beach counties. But officials in the city of Miami have canceled a pair of high profile gatherings due to concerns about a potential spread. Ultra Music Festival and Calle Ocho were both canceled this week.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]

One comment


    March 7, 2020 at 11:06 pm

    The left newest attack, weaponizing a virus.

    It doesn’t matter who is nominated for the Democrats. Joe Biden’s positions are almost identical to Bernie Sanders. Joe is a Delaware admitted liberal who will follow the left’s socialist’s agenda of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi, Sheila Jackson Lee, Maxine Waters, Al Green, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Talib, Ayanna Pressley, llhan Omar.

    *View Biden / Sanders positions on their websites. Watch their speeches debates on you tube.

    Democrat-Socialist Goals & Platform:

    -Sanctuary Cities & States.

    -De-fund & terminate Border Patrol & ICE.

    -Medicare care for all including illegal aliens (taxpayer funded with a 52 trillion estimate)

    -College for all, including illegal aliens. (tax payer funded)

    -Disarming Americans.

    -Decriminalization of illegal entry into our country.

    -Citizenship for 20 to 50 million illegal aliens & TPS recipients.

    -Drivers licenses for illegal aliens.

    -Late term abortions up to 9 months.

    -Opposed to ANY voter ID Laws.

    -Weaken our Military.

    -Taxpayer Bailout student Loan Debt. Cost to taxpayers Billions.

    -End all deportations of illegal aliens, if you get here, you stay.

    -Destruction of all private / employer based health care

    -The Green new deal.(which would create massive unemployment)

    -Reparations for any race harmed by Caucasians.

    -Massive tax increases.

    -Open Borders, No Borders.

    -Welfare & Food Stamps for illegal aliens.

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