Florida, one of several states plowing ahead with a campaign built on pretending COVID-19 isn't a real thing, may soon bag the distinction of becoming the "next large epicenter" of the virus.

In fact, conditions in the state are rife with possibility for an outcome health officials warn could be truly dire.

In an interview with CNN Thursday, Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo—the director of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham—cited Florida's high number of nursing homes and its aging population as factors contributing to this potential, particularly when compounded with premature pushes for widespread reopening.

"The potential for the virus to take off there is very, very nerve-racking and could have catastrophic consequences," Dr. Marrazzo said.

And according to projections from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania scientists' model, the state indeed boasts "all the markings of the next large epicenter of coronavirus transmission."

Other states reporting record spikes in their seven-day averages of new virus cases include Alabama, Arizona, California, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, and Texas.

Despite these facts, and others, the Trump administration has remained hell-bent on largely downplaying concerns over the virus in favor of a misleading narrative recklessly positing that it's all nearing the end. This approach is perhaps best represented by Trump's decision to return to the rally circuit, though it's worth noting that his Tulsa rally this week requires attendees to vow not to file a lawsuit should they ultimately come down with COVID-19 after the event. The administration has also lied about virus numbers ahead of the rally.

Also Watch

Close