Florida recorded 216 coronavirus deaths Wednesday and shattered the record the day before, Health officials reported, as the disease ruthlessly progresses in the southeastern state of the United States. After claiming the lives of 186 people on Tuesday, the virus totals 6,333 deaths in the tourist “Sunshine State”, according to the Health Department.

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On Wednesday, Florida added 9,446 new cases, after several weeks registering daily figures of around 10,000. In total, about 451,423 people have been infected. With 21 million inhabitants, Florida recently overtook New York and remains the second state with the most cases of covid-19, just below California, which has twice its population.

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A quarter of Florida cases are concentrated in Miami, the current epicenter of the pandemic in the country and where only 10.78% of intensive care beds are available. 149,407 people have died in the United States since the start of the pandemic, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The popularity of Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis has plummeted in the past month for his management of the health crisis, after having boasted in May of having contained it in an angry speech in which he accused the press of spreading panic in the population. A faithful ally of President Donald Trump, DeSantis has refused to order the use of face masks, although some mayors have made it mandatory in their jurisdictions.

Florida, which unlike the other states in the United States does not collect state taxes and depends on tourism to survive, hastened to reopen its economy between May and June, when it sank in the economic debacle and it seemed that the virus was under control.

AFP

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