“Global Epicenter” FL Sees 9K Cases, ICUs Swamped

Orlando’s NBC News affiliate reports:

Florida marked another grim COVID-19 milestone Thursday when health officials reported 120 new deaths from the coronavirus — the highest one-day jump yet amid a surge in new infections that continues to befuddle the state’s attempts to contain the outbreak.

The number of deaths announced Thursday was the highest since the 113 reported in early May. The cumulative death toll has now surpassed 4,000 as new infections climbed by nearly 9,000 to more than 229,000.

The state also reported on Thursday the biggest 24-hour jump in hospitalizations, with more than 400 patients being admitted. The rise in new infections have spawned pleas for Floridians to wear masks and maintain social-distancing to keep the virus from further spreading. It has also prompted some local officials to retrench.

The Hill reports:

Florida has emerged as a global epicenter of the latest coronavirus surge, raising questions about the safety of major events that relocated to the state. As coronavirus cases surged throughout much of the Northeast in April and May, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared victory.

Florida was one of the last states to impose a stay-at-home order, and one of the first to reopen. DeSantis earned praise from President Trump for his response to the pandemic and attacked the media for fearmongering after the state reopened its beaches.