Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R) denied that his state is now the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak and said Florida is doing “just fine,” according to The Hill.

  • Sabatini said during an appearance on CNN that media outlets are too focused on case numbers, rather than hospitalizations and deaths.

“The media is almost exclusively focused on this one number versus the two most important numbers, obviously, hospitalizations and fatalities, where in most parts of the states flatlined or gone down, especially in mine,” he said.

“So if we focus on the two more relevant metrics, Florida’s doing just fine,” he added.

  • When CNN’s Brianna Keilar pushed Sabatini on his claim and asked, “You think Florida’s doing fine right now?” the Republican responded with praise for Governor Ron DeSantis.

“Absolutely, I think the governor’s response has been on point, and I think that the metrics that matter the most, we’re doing very well in,” he said. “If you’re counting cases, you’re going to scare people.”

  • Sabatini then denied that Florida is the epicenter of the outbreak:

“That’s actually a false assessment entirely,” the state representative responded. “I don’t even know what you mean by epicenter. The whole world’s dealing with this issue right now. There's going to be a lot of cases in areas of high population.”

“Everybody knew they were going to go up. When you open an economy, cases go up,” he added. “Does that mean higher risk? Absolutely not.”

  • The Hill noted that Florida has seen an increase in both deaths and hospitalizations, “recording its highest single-day death toll of 132 deaths on Tuesday” and logging “its highest daily increase of hospitalizations on Tuesday with 300 people hospitalized.”
  • The publication added: “The Agency for Health Care Administration reported 54 hospital intensive care units at capacity and another 40 with less than 10 percent bed availability, NBC News reported.”