President Donald Trump vowed to return to doing regular press briefings amid the rising COVID-19 spikes seen across the country. Among the most talked-about subjects at his Tuesday presser was the situation going on in Florida where Gov. Ron DeSantis finds himself dealing with record-breaking cases and the potential for the state to become the next epicenter of the coronavirus.
Trump, though, was dismissive of the climbing number of positive cases, instead backing DeSantis by calling him a “great governor.” He did admit the Sunshine State is in “a big tough position,” but due to being led by DeSantis, Trump believes that he and the “skilled people” there are going to find a way to come out on top. DeSantis has come under scrutiny for his handling of the pandemic as the state was among the first to reopen, progressing rather quickly before dialing some things back, such as bars being open after cases began to stem as a result of them. DeSantis also was recently sued by the state’s largest teachers union after conveying that the state’s schools must reopen in August for in-person learning.
President Trump on rise of cases in Florida: "Florida is in a little tough, well, a big tough position, you have a great governor there... You have very skilled people that are going to handle it very well" https://t.co/IbXgiLRR4m pic.twitter.com/EpbiWE1lJR— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) July 21, 2020
Up until Tuesday, which saw just over 9,400 new cases reported, the state had five consecutive days of 10,000 or more cases. Florida, which has seen its most significant theme park, Walt Disney World, recently open, also topped New York at its peak with over 15,000 cases on July 12. Prior to Trump’s backing of his handling, DeSantis claimed that the state is “turning this back.”
In addition to speaking about the current state of Florida, Trump also doubled down on his support of face coverings, “I have no problem with the masks.” He added that “anything that potentially can help” is something that needs to be taken seriously in the fight against COVID-19. Despite calling it the “patriotic” thing to do, Trump was seen not wearing a face mask while mingling at a hotel. Continuing in his briefing, Trump provided some grim hope in stating that things will “get worse before it gets better.” On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shared a new analysis that believes there are more people infected with COVID-19 than reported, suggesting that this difference could be greater than 10 times in some areas.