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    Florida governor grilled on COVID hospital data



    “No, no, no!” At a heated news briefing in Miami on Tuesday, reporters grilled Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on the state’s efforts to contain the coronavirus, cases of which have soared in the last month, and demanded an explanation for why he has not released the number of COVID-19 hospitalization in Florida. REPORTER: “She’s asking specifically about the number of patients.” DESANTIS: “So all the data that goes into this is all available.” REPORTER: “I have the spreadsheet from that data, Governor. It is not available.” Last week, DeSantis promised he would release the number of COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized statewide and by county, a metric reported by most other states. But he has yet to do so. The next best thing was data published Tuesday by the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration, which showed that the intensive care units at 54 hospitals across 25 counties in Florida had reached full capacity. As of Tuesday, only 17% of the ICU beds were available statewide. But on Tuesday, DeSantis tried to put a positive spin on the recent rise in cases. “The idea was flatten the curve, have a flatter curve, which meant that you’d push this out over a longer period of time… By spreading this out you now can have way more robust testing. They’re testing everyone who comes through the door.” The coronavirus crisis worsened in other parts of the country, with infections now rising in 42 states. Texas shattered records on Tuesday when it reported over 10,000 new coronavirus cases, the biggest one-day increase in the state since the pandemic started. That news came the same day the Texas State Fair was cancelled for first time in 75 years. Arizona saw the rate of positive tests rise to 26% for the week ended July 5. The World Heath Organization considers a rate over 5% to be troubling. “Deaths are way down from this horrible China virus.” On Tuesday, President Donald Trump – whose handling of the crisis has been widely criticized – highlighted the fact that the mortality rate in the United States has fallen, even as hundreds of Americans continue to die from the virus each day. U.S. coronavirus cases rose to over 3 million on Tuesday and more than 130,000 Americans have died from the virus – about a quarter of the worldwide total. And a widely cited model from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projected on Tuesday that U.S. deaths would reach 208,000 by Nov. 1, two days before the presidential election.
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    World News from Reuters

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