WATCH: Infection Specialist Dr. Lilian Abbo Says Miami Is The New Wuhan
On July 13, in a Zoom press conference held by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and several health experts, Dr. Lilian Abbo, an infectious disease specialist at a Florida hospital, compared Miami’s situation to that of Wuhan, China.
“Miami is now the center of the pandemic. What we were seeing in Wuhan six months ago, five months ago – now we are there,” said Abbo.
The press conference followed the news that Florida logged over 15,000 new coronavirus cases in one day, breaking the nationwide state record of the most COVID-19 cases in a day. Part of the issue may be related to demographics. Florida has a large Latino and black population and is a popular destination and retirement state. Minority populations and the elderly are among the most vulnerable in regard to COVID-19. However, it is not all demographics: conservative Florida residents have been outspoken about wearing masks and practicing social distancing, and with Disneyland opening up, the situation has become grave.
Abbo called for a unified response to COVID-19, saying that the needs of the economy needed to be balanced with the health and safety of the workers. Other doctors on the Zoom conference also emphasized the need for proper hygiene, including Dr. Tanira Ferreira, chief medical officer in charge of inpatient and acute care services at the University of Miami Health System.
“Our number of cases have simply tripled in size [compared to what we’ve seen in March] … The principles of spreading this virus have not changed. The scientific evidence is very clear. It’s a person-to-person spread,” Ferreira said.
Ferreira noted that the hospitals were overworked. “We’re essentially running two hospitals, a COVID and a non-COVID hospital, and this is a very similar situation in comparison to other hospitals in Miami.”
Florida’s hospitals are beginning to run low on ICU beds as more cases crop up.
Watch the full Zoom conference here.
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