The state of the novel coronavirus in Florida has been one of continual debate on what metrics actually mean, with some saying increased positive tests are cause for alarm, and others more sanguine given the relative youth of the recently infected.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, however, sees it differently, contending that even though relatively low-risk cohorts currently test positive, those infections could spur a new wave of COVID-19 among higher-risk populations.
In a video released Tuesday, the Senator warned that America’s “top priority right now must be to make sure that these new infections that we’re seeing among younger and healthier Americans don’t cross over to older and sicker Americans.”
While new cases struck the Senator as inevitable, Rubio says that in and of itself isn’t the issue.
“The real issue now is whether these new cases will lead to a higher death rate, and that really depends on what we do with this moment. The median age of people that are testing positive is about 35 years of age or younger.
“Statistics tell us that that alone is not going to lead to an increase in hospitalizations, much less deaths. But what will is if that surge in infections leads to a surge in the infections of people at higher risk or over 65,” Rubio added.
The Senator’s comments came after another day where more than 6,000 positive tests were recorded in the state, bringing the total past 152,000 during the course of the epidemic.
The data represents a tacit rebuke to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has soft-pedaled the corona-surge as a function of, as the New York Post put it, “young people partying.” While the Governor has emphasized the greater likelihood of non-fatal outcomes for the young infected, Rubio’s latest comments stress potential unintended consequences.
Rubio’s ruminations represent a marked departure from comparatively flippant comments made by Florida’s other Republican Senator on Fox Business earlier Tuesday, in an interview with host Stuart Varney,
“Why don’t they just tell us ‘this business, they have employees or customers with coronavirus’? Guess what? We wouldn’t go there,” Sen, Rick Scott said, adding that people would “avoid the bad places.”