After Dr. Anthony Fauci said that new coronavirus hotspot Florida opened too soon, Gov. Ron DeSantis said "there was no justification to not move forward."
DeSantis defended the move to reopen, saying Florida had a "very low prevalence" of Covid-19 in May and early June, "particularly in the 64 counties outside of southern Florida."
"We did put southern Florida on a different pathway," DeSantis said at a Friday news conference in Orlando.
DeSantis said cases are on the rise in other parts of the country as well, not just Florida. Across the Sunbelt, "this is something that we're dealing with," said DeSantis.
The governor did not mention Florida's 11,433 new positive cases reported today during the news conference. This marks the second time the state's single-day tally of cases topped more than 11,000, according to CNN's count.
Florida health officials reported 11,458 cases on July 4, according to CNN's tally.