Florida will be “like a house on fire” in a matter of weeks because the state has dropped coronavirus precautions, and President Donald Trump probably should not hold a rally there right now, infectious disease specialist Mike Osterholm said Friday.
“Florida is ripe for another large outbreak,” Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Friday. “What they’ve done is opened up everything as if nothing had ever happened there and you and I could be talking probably in eight to 10 weeks, and I will likely bet that Florida will be a house on fire. “
Trump, who has been battling Covid-19 for the past week, is heading to Florida Monday for a campaign rally.
Osterholm said it’s probably not a good idea to hold a rally in the state right now, even if it’s held outside. The state has reported 2,900 new infections in the past day, according to Johns Hopkins University.
“The challenge we have is helping the American people understand if you bring people together, even when they’re outdoors, it’s less risk of transmission being close together outdoors, but it’s surely not zero,” he said.
Trump is also planning an outdoor gathering at the White House Saturday and said he’ll address the crowd from a balcony.
Osterholm said attending that event isn’t a good idea either.
“I wouldn’t go right now because I think the White House itself has a fair number of infections,” he said.
Trump was released from hospital Monday and other administration staffers are still battling the virus.