Mayor Francis X. Suárez has strongly expressed that the president’s plan to debate Joe Biden in Miami “is not safe for him and anybody else.”
On Tuesday morning, as he battled COVID-19 in the White House, President Donald Trump indicated he is “looking forward” to attending the second presidential debate to be held on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 15, in Miami, Florida. “It will be great!” he wrote on Twitter.
Not so fast, responded Miami Mayor Francis X. Suárez. The Cuban American Republican indicated that if the president is ill with the coronavirus, he should not travel to Miami.
“I don’t think it’s safe, not for him and anybody else, anywhere or anyone he interacts with,” Suárez told POLITICO.
Suárez, himself one of the first to get the virus, said it took him 17 days from his first positive test to get a negative test. He was in isolation for the entire period.
“Remember, this thing is highly contagious. How many people are infected in his inner circle, in the White House, senators, etc.?” he expressed.
These concerns are shared by other Miami-Dade County officials, as Trump could still be contagious at the time of the debate, which is scheduled for 13 days after the president announced his positive coronavirus test. The CDC advises a quarantine period of 14 days, but according to Florida International University’s infectious disease epidemiologist and researcher Dr. Mary Jo Trepka, severe cases need to be isolated for up to 20 days.
Trump, who was hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Center over the weekend after experiencing a fever and requiring supplemental oxygen at the White House on Friday, said he “felt great” and left the medical center on Monday. However, White House Physician Dr. Sean Conley has said that Trump “may not entirely be out of the woods yet.”
Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden told reporters that if the president is ill with COVID, “we shouldn’t have a debate.”
At this time Suárez said he’s asking the city manager to examine potential health issues if the president is contagious.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, a Democrat, said he mistrusts the information coming from the White House. “This is insane,” he said. “There should not be an exemption from proper safety and health precautions because you’re the president.”