Miami Has Become the ‘Epicenter of the Pandemic,’ Expert Says

July 15, 2020

    On Tuesday, Florida reported another 9,194 new cases of COVID-19, and a record number of deaths with 132.

    Those numbers come two days after the state set a record for total cases in one day with 15, 299 cases on Sunday.

    Now a top leading medical expert is warning the ongoing spread of the novel virus is putting South Florida in a dire situation.

    "Miami is now the epicenter of the pandemic,” said Dr. Lilian Abbo, an infectious disease expert at the University of Miami, according to NPR.

    “What we were seeing in Wuhan [in China] ... five months ago, now we are there."

    Abbo and other medical professionals continue to urge individuals to wear facial coverings in public, social distance and follow state and local guidelines.

    Earlier this month, Miami-Dade County issued a mandate requiring face masks in all public spaces and set a curfew barring anyone but essential workers from being on the street between 10 pm and 6 am.

    Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is now considering issuing a fine to anyone caught not wearing a mask outside.

    “The reason [for the spike] is us. There’s no Boogeyman. The reason is us,” Gimenez said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. “We have to change our behavior. The no. 1 reason is our behavior.”

    Governor Ron DeSantis has yet to announce a statewide mask mandate.

    At a roundtable discussion on Tuesday, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber urged DeSantis to implement the mandate.

    “We’ve had disagreements about whether we have a state mandate for a mask,” Gelber said. “The only reason I thought it’s important, is I think it will tell people, ‘You have to do this.' Not just urging you to do it -- but it’s urgent that you do it.”

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