Miami mayor reacts to upswing of COVID-19 cases

Mayor Francis Suarez tells "GMA" why he’s issuing a new order imposing shutdowns on some businesses and whether there should be a statewide mandate on masks.
3:38 | 06/30/20

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Transcript for Miami mayor reacts to upswing of COVID-19 cases
We are joined by the mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, mayor, thank you for joining us. Your city has seen such a spike in cases over the last couple of the hardest hit part of Florida is it too strong to control? ? We're doing everything we can, George, to control it. You know, in our hospitals, they're starting to get stressed in terms of the number of people that are hospitalized. We just implemented last week a mask in public rule. We also passed fines associated with the mask in public rule and then yesterday I just announced for businesses that are not following the protocol and the rules that they're going to be shut down for ten days for the first occurrence, 15 days, the second occurrence and 30 days a third occurrence to penalize businesses that are not following the rules so we're doing everything we can in Miami to make sure that we can stop this spread. We have 6900 new cases last week. Two days where we had 1500 new cases in one day which was three times the high water mark of April and then 2,100 cases earlier in the week. Did you re-open too quickly? How do you explain so many flouting the rules? You know, the city of Miami was actually the last city in the entire state of Florida to I got criticized at the time for taking too long, some said. I think what happened was the minute we opened it was like it never had -- it was like covid didn't exist and people just forgot and in some cases are still forgetting. You know, they're upset that I've implemented a mask in public rule. They're upset that we're implementing some of these rules but we're trying to do that in a surgical way so that we don't have to undo some of the openings that we've done and doing it also so that we don't have to reimplement a stay-at-home order which was extremely effective in March and early April but also crippled our economy in ways that only a stay-at-home order can do so trying to balance, you know, not going backwards with understanding that, you know, that this disease is incredibly efficient at spreading. Do you need a mandatory -- a rule to have masks mandatory for the entire state, not just the city of Miami? Listen, if the governor asks me for my opinion I would urge that. I don't see the difference in telling people that you should wear a mask from mandating it. To me it's no different than telling people they have to wear a seat belt. If you get in a car accident it's not a guarantee you'll make it out alive but a seat belt increases your chances tremendously of getting out alive so for me wearing a mask in public is no different. It doesn't guarantee you're not going to get covid but increases your chances tremendously. So for me, as mayor of a city that's dealing with this crisis it's a no-brainer and I would hope that eventually it becomes a no-brainer in the state. You got it. July 4th weekend coming up. A lot will want to be out partying. Yeah, no doubt about it and so, you know, we decided to close our beaches here in Dade county. And we think that's the prudent decision because even though it is summer and maybe there are some claims that the virus doesn't spread as quickly in heat we haven't seen any evidence of that. In fact, quite the contrary. People are congregating and having a good time and spreading the disease incredibly efficiently and starting to stress our hospital system. Thanks for your time. I know you had covid earlier during the crisis. I hope you're feeling better now. I am, thanks, George.

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

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