Florida becomes 3rd state to hit 1 million coronavirus cases


Florida on Tuesday became the third US state to exceed one million confirmed cases of COVID-19. It came just a day after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference where he denounced the mask warrants and insisted that schools remain open for in-person instruction.
The Sunshine State moved into darkness after 8,800 new cases were reported Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University and the Florida Department of Health. Florida has recorded more than 18,600 total deaths, the fourth highest death toll in the country.

Texas and California were the first two states to reach 1 million cases. The two states now have more than 1.2 million confirmed cases.

DeSantis, a Republican, has opposed masked mandates and business closures throughout the pandemic, even as the state’s COVID-19 count has skyrocketed. Florida was one of the first states to reopen most businesses in the first wave of the pandemic, and DeSantis refused to go back when the cases arose.

Last week, DeSantis extended an order that prevents local governments from fining people who refuse to wear masks and limits their ability to limit capacity in bars and restaurants.

The governor held his first press conference in nearly a month on Monday. He said school closures due to the coronavirus were “the biggest public health mistake in modern American history” and that he still would not support mask warrants.

“I’m against warrants, period,” DeSantis said. “I don’t think they work. He said any further fine or closure is “totally irrelevant.”

The CDC and leading public health experts said masks could be the most efficient way to stop the spread of COVID-19 – even more than a possible vaccine.

Some Republican governors who initially opposed mask mandates, including Kim Reynolds of Iowa and Gary Herbert of Utah, issued statewide orders in November as the United States saw their worst month yet for COVID-19 cases and deaths.

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