Florida has 400,000 coronavirus cases after governor says state is moving in ‘better direction’

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Florida surpassed 400,000 total coronavirus cases on Friday, a day after Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state had “clearly stabilized with the cases.”

As of 9:25 a.m. ET, Florida had recorded some 402,312 cases of COVID-19 as of Friday, according to data compiled by the state Department of Health. The state has recorded an average of 10,700 cases per day for the past seven days.

In all, about 5,653 people have died from COVID-19 in Florida, according to the state health department.

This grim milestone follows the United States, surpassing 4 million confirmed cases of coronavirus nationwide. The south, the Sun Belt and parts of the western United States are grappling with recent alarming outbreaks of coronavirus infections.

DeSantis, a first-term Republican, has suggested in recent days that conditions are improving in his state. At a press conference at a Melbourne city medical center on Thursday, the governor said the state was moving in the right direction.

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“If you look at what we’re seeing on the ground in places like Brevard County, I think we’re seeing positive momentum,” DeSantis said. “I think we’re going to move in a better direction soon. “

“I would much rather be in a plateau than in a climb,” added DeSantis. “We have clearly stabilized with the cases. We are definitely moving in a better direction. We are doing much better today than we were two weeks ago. “

The majority of COVID-19 infections appear to be concentrated in South Florida, where city officials have reinstated restrictions on bars, restaurants and other public places in a bid to stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Florida ranks third on the list of states with the most infections. California leads the country with more than 433,000 confirmed cases as of Friday morning, followed by New York, with nearly 416,000 cases.

Worsening health conditions in the Sunshine State clearly caught the attention of President Trump’s re-election campaign. Trump said Thursday that he would no longer hold a large Republican convention in person in Jacksonville, Fla. Due to the coronavirus, but would host virtual events and still give an acceptance speech.

Trump told reporters “now is not the right time” for a big convention, adding that he must “protect the American people.”

However, DeSantis is expected to visit the White House on Friday afternoon, a White House official confirmed. It will be at 3 p.m. ET for the president to sign an executive order to reduce prescription drug prices.

“President Trump is delighted that Governor DeSantis is joining the drug pricing event today, as reducing drug prices is a shared priority of the President and the Governor,” the official said. “We also appreciate the ongoing partnership with Florida leaders to respond to COVID-19. “

Here’s a look at the other coronavirus developments making headlines on Friday:

– As schools decide whether or not to reopen, Dr Deborah Birx – the coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force – told NBC News’s Savannah Guthrie that it’s unclear how many young children are spreading the coronavirus.

– Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has announced strict new travel guidelines that everyone entering the state must follow.

The order requires people entering the state, residents and visitors, to complete a travel form and quarantine for 14 days, unless they are coming from a state where the virus is at risk. is lower, or they have a negative test result that is no longer more than 72 hours. Those who violate the new rules, Baker’s office said in a statement, face a daily fine of $ 500.

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