Miami’s mayor was the first in his county to test positive for the coronavirus, and he urged Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue a statewide lockdown before the outbreak became “apocalyptic.”
Mayor Francis Suarez believes thousands of people in his city have the coronavirus, many of them unknowingly, and he called on DeSantis to shut down Florida as he has done in Miami — where all nonessential businesses were closed and residents were told to stay at home, reported Business Insider.
“I’m convinced that thousands of people in my community have it,” Suarez said. “It’s possible I was one of the first ones who contracted it, but it’s also equally possible there are thousands of people who have it but didn’t know it.”
The 42-year-old Suarez remains mostly asymptomatic as he quarantines at home, while his wife and children stay with a relative, declined to “second-guess” DeSantis, a strong supporter of President Donald Trump, but he personally would order the state shut down to halt the spread of the highly contagious virus.
“Where New York is today may be where Miami is tomorrow,” Suarez told Business Insider.
Florida has confirmed 2,484 infections and 29 deaths as of Thursday evening, but tests remain hard to obtain despite the state’s huge population of elderly residents.
Suarez said the state needed much more help than it’s getting from the $2 trillion coronavirus aid package, and he’s afraid what might happen if his city is unable to ensure residents have enough food or access to utilities.
“It can become apocalyptic,” he said.
“I’m not trying to be an alarmist,” Suarez added. “I’m just telling you that as an elected official who has experienced a hurricane like Hurricane Irma, where day nine with no power, the kind of calls I was getting were apocalyptic. I’ve been there, I’ve lived it.”
Effective tomorrow, a curfew will be enforced between 10:00pm and 5:00am in the @CityofMiami. This is yet another measure we’re taking to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect our residents’ health and well-being. #InThisTogether pic.twitter.com/IkmBWZb65b
— Mayor Francis Suarez (@MiamiMayor) March 26, 2020