Sen. Marco Rubio: ‘Worst is yet to come’ with coronavirus

Florida senator discusses health issues, economy

A clinical support technician extracts viruses from swab samples so that the genetic structure of a virus can be analyzed and identified. (WPA Pool, Jane Barlow, 2020 Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said Tuesday that the “worst is yet to come” when he was asked about the economic and health impacts the coronavirus will have on the United States.

With nearly 200 coronavirus cases in Florida and an expected surge in the coming days and weeks, Rubio addressed potential plans by President Donald Trump, who is moving to blunt the impact of the pandemic on the U.S. economy, which has been fundamentally altered by a push for the nation to stay home.

The Trump administration is expected to propose the possibility of sending $1,000 checks to Americans to address the free-fall. On Tuesday, Trump again urged Americans to follow sweeping guidelines for older residents to stay home, while all people should avoid gatherings of 10 or more and their local restaurants and bars.

“These are not normal times,” Rubio said. “The circumstances in which we live in now have no precedent, at least for 70 years, and even there, it’s unique.”

Rubio said the situation doesn’t involve businesses making poor choices and requesting bailouts.

“We’re talking about a virus. We’re talking about an effort to control this virus that requires us to tell businesses to close and people not to frequent them in order to save lives,” Rubio said. “That is an extraordinary development. This is not an economic downturn. This is not some recession or some normal event that happens in the cycles of an economy. This is an extraordinary, unprecedented challenge."

Rubio went on to say that the end does not appear to be in sight.

“I say this without trying to sound alarmist, but to be honest, the worst is yet to come,” he said. “The epidemiology tells us that, just think about where we were a week ago today and where we are now and envision that accelerating seven days from now. We don’t know what the world looks like when those things happen. So we got to try to do the best we can.”

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