COVID-19 cases across the country are soaring yet again, with the U.S. hitting a single day record of more than 98,000 cases, according to an NBC News tally.
South Florida is not immune to the spikes, prompting Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber to write another letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis, accusing him chasing herd immunity as the state’s strategy to address the coronavirus.
“These are not accusations,” said Gelber in an interview with NBC 6. “The governor is not consulting with the mainstream scientists and doctors. He’s not talking to Dr. Fauci. He's not following the CDC. He is only consulting with Dr. Atlas and the founders of the Barrington Declaration, the outliers who believe in this herd immunity.”
In the letter, the mayor supports his claims by pointing to the governor’s actions, saying he “eliminated many social distancing requirements in restaurants and bars; threatened schools with reduced funding if they didn’t reopen; and even prohibited local governments like mine from enforcing mask mandates on individuals.”
Gelber also pointed to reduced testing availability and the unknown future of the state’s contact tracing as reasons for sending the letter.
He says if the governor refuses to change course, he should at least inform Floridians.
“If he is chasing herd immunity, and it’s incredibly clear that he is," Gelber said. "Not herd immunity through a vaccine, but herd immunity through letting the virus sweep through the community and hopefully protecting the vulnerable, which he can't do. If that’s what he's doing he needs to say so publicly. Because, by the way, there are people who would be more careful if they knew that’s what he was doing.”
We reached out to the governor’s office for comment and are still waiting to hear back.
Click here to read Gelber's letter to DeSantis.