Mar 19, 2020 - Health

Florida Gov. DeSantis to spring breakers: "The party is over"

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis told "Fox & Friends" Thursday that the state's beaches have either closed or if open, must abide by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on crowds and distancing for the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: College students traveled in droves to the open beaches in Florida for spring break — ignoring the federal government's encouragement to maintain social distance and abstain from nonessential travel.

By the numbers: As expected, the most severe impacts from the coronavirus in the U.S. have been among people 85 years and older, but significant percentages of younger adults have also needed critical care, new federal data shows.

What DeSantis is saying:

“The message I think for spring breakers is that the party is over in Florida. You’re not going to be able to congregate on any beach in the state. Many of the hot spots that people like to go to, whether it’s Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Clearwater Beach are closed entirely for the time being."
"We would tell those folks maybe come back next year when things are better, but that is not what we’re looking for.”

The big picture: President Trump has reinforced warnings from public health officials, saying, “We don’t want them gathering, and I see they do gather, including on beaches and in restaurants, young people. They don’t realize, and they’re feeling invincible.”

  • In Miami: The mayor ordered all parks and beaches to close. Clearwater and Naples beaches have also shut down.
  • DeSantis announced on Tuesday that all bars and nightclubs in the state will be shuttered for the next 30 days.
  • Still, Florida Democrats want DeSantis to do more and close all beaches in the state.

Go deeper: The coronavirus crisis enters a dangerous Phase 2

Go deeper

AFL-CIO presidential forum canceled over coronavirus concerns

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden during the Democratic presidential debate in Houston, Texas, last year. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The AFL-CIO presidential forum that was to be held in Orlando, Florida, this week has been canceled because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, a spokesperson said in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders were due to appear at the forum on Thursday, ahead of the Florida primaries on March 17.

Go deeper: Two dead in Florida after exposure to coronavirus from international travel

Joe Biden projected to win Florida primary

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden is projected to win the Democratic primary in Florida, according to AP.

Why it matters: The Florida primary offers the most delegates of the three states voting on Tuesday, with 219 out of 441 delegates up for grabs. Illinois and Arizona are also voting today.

America under lockdown

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

If you thought March felt like the longest month in American history, just wait for April and May, when people will be forced to witness spring from the indoors.

The big picture: 28 states are in or entering lockdown, with Maryland and Virginia joining those ranks today. So is D.C., as its mayor made official this afternoon. Those states include roughly 3/4 of the American people, the N.Y. Times notes.

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