Florida Governor Suggests Super Bowl LIV Contributed to Spread of COVID-19

Ron DeSantis points to the high number of confirmed cases in Miami-Dade County, where the championship game took place.

Super Bowl LIV

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Super Bowl LIV

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspects Super Bowl LIV contributed to the state's coronavirus outbreak.

A day before issuing the stay-at-home order, the Republican lawmaker told reporters the deadly virus was likely spreading in Florida as far back as Super Bowl weekend. The event took place on Feb. 2 at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.

"The fact of the matter is, as we got into February, this thing was circulating," he said during a Tuesday press conference. "I think it was circulating during the Super Bowl. As you've been able to get more testing in Miami, you've been able to identify cases."

DeSantis reiterated is suspicions during a Wednesday appearance on The Sean Hannity Show, pointing to the large number of travelers—about 200,000 people—who were in Miami-Dade County for Super Bowl weekend.

"I was down there for the Super Bowl ... that was two months ago," Hannity said. "Why are you just suspecting now that that might've been a point where a lot of people may have been infected?"

"There wasn't a lot of testing being done in February. We've now done over 70,000 tests in the state of Florida. We hope to hit 100,000 next week," DeSantis said. "We're seeing huge increases in testing ... I don't think it was that there just weren't cases on Feb. 28, I just think the testing wasn't where it was."

DeSantis also pointed to Spring Break as a likely factor for Florida's COVID-19 outbreak.

"We think it's Floridians who traveled internationally and brought it back, international travelers who came to Florida, people from New York who have come to Florida, and then Floridians who have gone to New York City and brought it back," he said. "Those are the main ways where this thing really took root in Florida."

As of Friday night, Florida had 10,268 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 170 coronavirus-related deaths.

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