The curve may not be flattened after all.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence expressed concern about an “advent of cases” of coronavirus in the South, singling out Florida as a hotspot for “outbreaks.”
“As we see cases rising across the South, we still have work to do,” Pence said.
Pence noted that he spoke to Gov. Ron DeSantis in the last twelve hours, and plans a Thursday trip to Sarasota, a campaign swing that will allow the VP to look at “conditions on the ground.”
The Vice President advised against the “temptation … to suggest that the reopening has to do with what we’ve been seeing in the last week or so,” saying the real issue is “young people testing positive … half or more under the age of 35.”
For Pence, who last month looked on as Gov. DeSantis berated the media for a “typical partisan narrative” in reporting on COVID-19 and Florida’s response, Friday brought things full circle from a victorious moment five weeks ago, when Florida had seemingly triumphed over fears of corona catastrophe.
“We’ve succeeded,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said, “and I think that people just don’t want to recognize it because it challenges their narrative.”
The Pence comments kicked off a meeting of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, the first meeting of the group in two months, but they were not the only comments germane to Florida, which set a new record Friday, with nearly 9,000 cases recorded Thursday.
Other task force members, including Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, are addressing the situation in the South and Florida, even as the VP, not speaking anymore, is still mask free.
Birx expressed concern about states with “rising test cases and rising positives,” a category that includes Florida.
“The two top states are Texas and Arizona, followed by Florida,” Birx said.
In terms of cities, Tampa and Miami are of greatest concern in the state, and among the top 10 worries in the country.
On the county level, Miami Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach show the greatest resurgence.
New cases have surged in South Florida hot spots. DOH reported 1,532 new cases in Miami-Dade County Thursday, where now 30,196 have tested positive.
Broward County added 736 cases to reach 13,320 and Palm Beach County has 12,498 overall, including 658 on Thursday.