Florida congressman: Spike in coronavirus cases 'obviously' an indication of increased testing

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Florida congressman: Spike in coronavirus cases 'obviously' an indication of increased testing

Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., pushed back on New York's decision to quarantine travelers from Florida, arguing that the Sunshine State's spike in coron

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Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., pushed back on New York’s decision to quarantine travelers from Florida, arguing that the Sunshine State’s spike in coronavirus cases is the result of increased testing.

“I mean, the first thing is there’s 200,000 tests a week that we’re doing in Florida so, obviously, you’re going to see a spike in the number of positive cases,” Steube said during “Cavuto Live” on Saturday.

His comments came amid concerns that states like Florida reopened too quickly and were seeing a higher number of cases as a result. Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the White House’s coronavirus task force, has maintained that the nation is experiencing the effects of higher testing rates, not hasty reopenings.

“The vice president had it right,” Steube said. “You’re seeing asymptomatic individuals between 18-35 who are testing positive. They don’t have symptoms, and so that’s a good thing. We don’t have an elderly population, you don’t have people in nursing homes because of the things that Governor Desantis has put in place to ensure our elderly population is protected unlike the type of things that you’ve seen in New York.”

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Steube’s comments touched on an ongoing feud between Florida and New York, in which Govs. DeSantis and Cuomo criticized each other’s response to the pandemic. DeSantis and others have criticized Cuomo for his policy forcing nursing homes to accept patients who tested positive for the coronavirus.

Steube continued: “If you compare overall cases in Florida to states like New York, we still only have 3,300 deaths compared to 31,000 deaths in New York. That’s almost ten times the amount of deaths. So, the amount of cases is obviously an indication of the amount of testing that we’re doing. If you drill down on the numbers of hospitalizations and those patients needing ICU [Intensive Care Unit] beds, that number has stayed flat.”

Steube also pushed back on the idea that states like New York should block travelers from his state.

“Well, I certainly disagree with shutting that type of thing down because if you look at the percentage of the amount of people, again, that are testing, like I read something from Governor [Andrew] Cuomo that said that they had such a low amount of those testing positive,” he said.

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“Well, I can guarantee you they’re not doing 200,000 tests a week in the state of New York, and so obviously their numbers are going to be different. Again, people can be safe — they have personal responsibility and individual liberties to make up those decisions to ensure that they’re not infecting other people if they’re sick, stay home. If you’re out and about, do the things the CDC’s [Centers for Disease Control] recommending to do.”

America recorded another record spike in cases, counting more than 45,000 new cases on Friday, bringing the total number of cases to more than 2.4 million. The majority of those cases are focused in Florida, Texas, California and Arizona accounted for nearly half of the new cases.

Florida alone reported nearly 9,000 new cases, while Texas and California exceeded 5,000 new cases each.

The majority of the new cases are younger patients. Whereas patients aged 50 or older made up nearly 70 percent of cases in early April, around 57 percent of recent patients are aged 18-49, according to the CDC.

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Meanwhile, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced he would sign an executive order closing beaches in the county over the Fourth of July weekend.

State officials have attributed much of the new outbreak to young adults flocking to bars after they reopened in most of the state three weeks ago, with many of them ignoring social distancing restrictions aimed at lowering the virus’s spread.

Fox News’ Peter Aitken and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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