U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio stressed the value of flattening the curve with the first statewide lockdown. But he’s pushing back against suggestions by Centers for Disease Control about closing businesses again.
“I supported first ‘shutdown’ to flatten the curve,” Rubio tweeted. “But we are in a very different place now.”
Rubio articulated his different position on a second round of closures after Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Wall Street Journal’s podcast, The Journal.
“What we are seeing is exponential growth. It went from an average of about 20,000 to 40,000 and 50,000.” Fauci said. ”That’s doubling. If you continue doubling, two times 50 is 100.
“Any state that is having a serious problem, that state should seriously look at shutting down. It’s not for me to say because each state is different.”
But the comments certainly cover Florida, which grew from 100,000 to 200,000 cases in a span of two weeks. As of Thursday morning, Florida’s Department of Health reported 232,718 total cases of COVID-19 and 4,009 deaths of patients with the disease.
Rubio early in the pandemic stressed the importance of limiting mass gatherings and staying at home to flatten the curve.
“I know its a big hassle & comes at a high economic price,” he tweeted on March 30. “But the alternative outcome is far worse.”
But he’s now pushing back against assertions from Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that another shutdown may be warranted in states with an ongoing surge like Florida.
“Must weigh cost versus benefit,” his Thursday tweet continues. “Social, economic & enforcement costs are significant
“Benefits are questionable, govt can’t shutdown private gatherings & most businesses already restricted.”
The Miami Republican’s tweet also notably comes as Miami-Dade County, the most highly infected in the state, shifts back into lockdown mode, closing down in-person dining, short-term rentals and other services.