With COVID cases surging across Florida and hospitals short-staffed, Marco Rubio is once again using the pandemic to serve his own political interests rather than help Floridians in need. Instead of helping Floridians stay healthy and return to normal, Rubio is trying to score political points on Twitter, downplaying the risks of the virus and calling Floridians hysterical if they got tested over the holidays to keep their families safe.
Public health experts, health care workers, and others are calling out Rubio for failing to take the pandemic seriously:
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio deserves his own Top Ten List of COVID Falsehoods. His hometown, Miami, continues to be the state’s epicenter of the raging coronavirus pandemic.
Yet, the record numbers of infected, the hospitalized on the rise, and people still dying mean nothing to the senator, who is better suited for Republican foreign-policy talking points than dispensing on-the-fly silly, dismissive — and dangerous — public-health information.
Rubio is so out of his league on the subject of COVID-19 that he keeps striking the wrong chord at the worst time, and in the most public way.
Omicron is more easily transmitted, which makes it so dangerous. But Rubio is cherry-picking half truths. He makes the situation seem hopeless, that there’s nothing that can be done. He’s spreading dangerous information that could cost the lives of the unvaccinated, who are more vulnerable to the disease.
“The most dramatic development is vaccines that work,” [a Miami-based COVID expert] said. “To suggest otherwise is a sad and cruel deception. If everyone had worn a mask when we said, ‘Wear a mask,’ if everyone had vaccinated, we’d have a lot less dead people.”
What Rubio is saying isn’t based on good science and, certainly, isn’t good public policy.
Truth is, a public official of Rubio’s rank spreading misleading and false information makes us all less safe — not just from COVID, but from everything.
Senator Marco Rubio taking it a step further, claiming without evidence the majority of all COVID patients in the state are there for other reasons.
The numbers are hard to verify, but hospital leaders pushed back, telling us unvaccinated patients most likely to end up in intensive care are almost always there for COVID. Vaccinated patients make up those incidental positives.
They also said the distinction didn’t really matter because any COVID patient eats up one of the most valuable resources in Florida right now: nurses.
Twitter users, including doctors and health experts, quickly condemned the tweet. Many pointed out that cases and hospitalizations have increased in recent weeks as the Omicron variant became prominent in the U.S.
Krutika Kuppalli, who serves on the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 technical team, wrote the tweet is “exactly the narrative” she was worried about.
Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine and surgery at George Washington University, wrote: “Cases are up 1047% (10x) in the last 2 weeks. Yes, Senator that’s a surge. You can keep your head buried in the sand but hospitalizations are now rising sharply (up 129%) and 62,000 Floridians have died from this virus. Keep up the good work.”