Miami mayor on dealing with both pandemic and approaching hurricane

Mayor Francis Suarez speaks on "GMA" about fighting COVID-19 and hurricane preparation.
3:32 | 08/01/20

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Transcript for Miami mayor on dealing with both pandemic and approaching hurricane
Let's go back to Florida where they're dealing with both the pandemic and as we've been saying, an approaching with us now, the Miami mayor, Francis Suarez. Mr. Mayor, good morning. As you look at this unfortunate confluence of the hurricane and a pandemic, I'm curious to know what are your most urgent concerns in the coming hours and days? Well, the most urgent concerns obviously are going to be if we have to order an evacuation, how is that going to be impacted by the fact that we have a very high spread of covid in our community. Obviously, you know, with 20 shelters that are being programmed to potentially be open, people who would be evacuated would have to socially distance, would have to bring hand sanitizers, would have to wear face coverings, and the other thing is we're having to deal with that in our operations center. Usually an operation center is a place where people are tightly packed together so that we can communicate easily. And now we have to socially distance and wear masks. So it definitely presents a certain set of challenges that wouldn't be there but for covid in our community right now. Are you confident you can navigate the challenges without leading to further outbreak? We are confident, you know, we've been thinking about this and preparing for this for a few months now. Obviously it does present additional amounts of strain in our resources but we'll be ready. Your state has just recorded a record number of deaths for the fourth state -- for the fourth straight day and yet president trump visited Tampa yesterday and said -- and I'm quoting here -- I think we're doing really well in Florida. You're a member of the Republican party. Do you agree with the president? No, I don't think we're doing really well. I've been saying for the last couple of weeks that the deaths are going to increase and predicting this because in Miami, for example, our ventilators are at an all-time high but almost by a factor of 50%, so, you know, before we had 196 people on ventilators. Now over 350 people on ventilators and unfortunately about 65% of people on ventilators do not make it. So, no, I don't think that we're, you know -- I think we're right now in Miami plateauing, hopefully we'll continue to decrease. We have implemented a variety of different measures and hoping they will continue improving over the next coming weeks but it's been a slow improvement at best. One more note about the president. He was not wearing a mask when he visited the state yesterday, at least at some of his public appearances. You have called on the governor to issue a statewide mask mandate and, in fact, there was an editorial in "The sun sentinel" the local newspaper, that reads, quote, we're dying here. Do you think a statewide mask mandate is possible? Is it in the realm of possibility? Oh, it's definitely possible. It's up to the governor to decide whether or not he wants to do it. It's certainly possible. I actually think we should have a national mask mandate and think -- I've said this before. When the president doesn't wear a mask in a situation like that it sends a mixed message so I think the issue is for a city like Miami, we want 100% compliance so we can get control of this virus as quickly as possible. We're now enforcing our mask mandate. That's what we're forced to do and issue tickets to people who aren't wearing them and that's something we prefer not to have to do but it would be helpful if the president would wear a mask when he's in Florida, certainly when he's in Miami, so that we send the right signal to all members in our community to do likewise. Mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, thank you very much, sir. Really appreciate your time.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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