Marco Rubio: Hospitalizations not a sign of COVID-19 surge
Rubio. Image via AP.

“There is no Omicron hospital ‘surge’ in Florida."

Hospitalizations with COVID-19 have long been viewed as a measure of the severity of the pandemic. But Sen. Marco Rubio said even a spike in those patients admitted with the omicron variant should not alarm anyone.

The Miami Republican on Monday tweeted dismissively about the skyrocketing cases, even as his hometown became a hotbed of infection. The week of Dec. 17-23, cases were up nearly 349% week-over-week in Miami-Dade County.

“There is no Omicron hospital ‘surge’ in Florida,” Rubio tweeted. “People admitted for non-Covid reasons get tested. If they test positive they get counted as a ‘COVID patient.’ The majority of the 5,400 ‘COVID patients’ in Florida are in the hospital for non-Covid reasons.”

That remark came a few days after Rubio similarly dismissed COVID-19 with mild symptoms as a reason to miss work or even be tested for the virus.

“Record numbers testing positive for a sore throat isn’t a crisis,” he posted on Dec 31. “And people in the hospital for car accidents testing positive isn’t a surge. The real crisis is the irrational hysteria which has people with no symptoms waiting hours for a test or missing work for 10 days.”

That certainly marked a shift from the early days of the pandemic, when Rubio gave regular updates about the need to flatten the curve and not allow hospitals to become overwhelmed with infections. He was an early advocate of vaccinations, sharing a photograph when he received his first dose on Twitter, and he supported early lockdowns — though he said additional lockdowns were not necessary with the advent of better testing and remote work capabilities.

There are wide reports that omicron, while extremely contagious, has resulted in milder symptoms. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it remains too early to say if the relatively new variant in fact offers greater risk to those infected.

“More data are needed to know if Omicron infections, and especially reinfections and breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variants,” reads a CDC information site about the omicron variant.

Notably, the CDC also just reduced the recommended time for quarantining to five days, down from 10.

Regardless, Rubio’s waving off of a post-vaccine surge in cases during a pandemic that’s already claimed the lives of more than 62,500 Florida deaths drew criticism. That included a response from another delegation member, his likely Democratic opponent in the 2022 Senate contest, Rep. Val Demings.

“Over 824,000 Americans, including over 62,000 Floridians, have died of Covid,” she tweeted. “We can stop this. Get vaccinated. Get boosted. And elect leaders who will take the pandemic seriously.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • PeterH

    January 3, 2022 at 1:37 pm

    Hospitalization is a sign of Covid 19’s Republican unvaccinated!

    The unvaccinated are ruining the economy, overtaxing our healthcare workers and adding fuel TO THE NEXT COVID VARIANT!

  • Alex

    January 3, 2022 at 1:39 pm

    What shall we call them Marco?

    Deep State patients?

  • tracy

    January 3, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    If masked California had Florida’s covid death rate ( 1 out of every 340 citizens dead)…they’d have 40,000 more dead people in California today. And note that Florida doesn’t even count any of the out-of-staters who have died there, and there have been thousands.

  • Emma

    January 3, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    Typo in online headline.

  • Jonathan J Ripley

    January 3, 2022 at 11:56 pm

    This claim is because most of the business Florida gets is from vacationers in the winter and Spring break partiers. So deny deny deny.

  • Nillson

    January 7, 2022 at 8:58 am

    I don’t even know how to react to it. I recently made my first vaccine and now I find similar articles. But in fact, in spite of everything, I feel great and I have not found any side effects that would be reflected in my health. How can you deny the obvious so much? I do not argue that the statistics may not be clean enough, but advising people with coronavirus to continue attending work is too much. Thus, we will never defeat this virus.
    weed delivery edmonton

  • Tjb

    January 13, 2022 at 6:30 pm

    Is little Marco on drugs? What a stupid remark from Rubio.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn