Jul 15 2020
Miami, FL — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined The Story with Martha MacCallum to discuss the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Florida and the upcoming Republican National Convention in Jacksonville. See below for highlights and watch the full interview here.
On comparing the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States to those in Wuhan, China:
“It’s not like Wuhan because we don’t know what Wuhan was like because their numbers weren’t real. They were cooking numbers on purpose, trying to make it look better than it actually was.”
On the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Florida:
“We have a lot of infections…I’ve talked repeatedly over the last four weeks with the administrator of the largest public health sector hospital here. It’s going to be a strain but they are managing it as best as they can…"
“It’s not great, but I think comparing us to Wuhan is probably a bit too far given the fact that Wuhan was catastrophic. They had hospital overruns there, we don’t have that here. And we don’t know what Wuhan’s real numbers were because they didn’t tell us.”
On Florida’s healthcare system handling COVID-19 patients:
“The PPE strain is real, simply because these things continue to be used. About 40% of the patients that are hospitalized and identified as COVID patients may be there for an unrelated reason. That’s good, they’re not being treated for COVID. The bad news is though, you have to use PPE, you have to isolate them — that puts a strain on the staff.
“So I’m not saying things are perfect here. They do have the capacity to create new ICU unit beds. Again, I talked to the mayor of the county today and the hospital. It is certainly going to be dicey, it’s going to be tough. They are at their limits in many ways, but they feel confident that even as they model out this thing’s peak here in the next two to three weeks, that they have the resources to handle it. As long as they have Remdesivir in sufficient quantities and as long as we get those PPEs delivered.
“There’s only so much locking down you can do before people are going to interact. A substantial portion of our cases are driven by private gatherings within extended families and the like. Government can’t ban those. People need to wear their mask, they need to be more conscious of it. I believe they now are. But remember, the hospitalizations we’re seeing today are the infections that happened two or three weeks ago. Hopefully, if we begin to correct that behavior now we’ll see improving numbers as we move forward into the next month.
On the Administration’s decision to send COVID-19 numbers to HHS, rather than the CDC:
“If the result of it is they want the numbers sent to them so they can quickly move Remdesivir to the right places, so they can quickly move resources to the right places, then that’s good news. If it’s for some other reason then obviously I would be disturbed by it.
“Ultimately, we have an issue here where we have a shortage of Remdesivir in some of our hospitals and we have an oversupply in some of our other hospitals, both in the state and throughout the country. So if that is designed to better improve that system then maybe it makes sense, but I don’t know the rationale behind it.”
On attending the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville:
“I plan to attend. Obviously, we’ll wait and see what circumstances look like at that point, but they’re going to test everybody going in and out of the hall every single day. They’re going to hold events outdoors, so if you’re going to have an event where everyone is going to be tested before they go in, I think that’s a pretty significant mitigation move. If we could do that in schools, then we’d be able to open them up right away. But that’s obviously not something that we’re capable of doing everywhere all the time right now.”