FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Greek-American Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis disputed “the theory that hot and humid weather kills coronavirus,” CNN reported on July 2.
Mayor Trantalis told CNN, “It's hot and humid. It's been that way for months now, and we still have the virus at our doorstep.”
Trantalis ordered the closing of city beaches during the Fourth of July weekend, and when asked why, he told CNN that “we wanted to work in concert with the adjacent cities and counties, Miami-Dade decided to close theirs, and Palm Beach County, so all three South Florida counties have now closed their beaches.
“It’s important to take that step because holiday weekends are times when people do like to enjoy the beach and they are entitled too normally, but we cannot afford to have people gather in clusters. And as the doctor in the segment just before said it’s great to be out in the open air but people can’t be in clusters. Fortunately in our county we have a mandatory mask order, it’s been in there for over two months, indoors or outdoors, and the whole idea is to keep people separated so that they do not contract this virus.”
When asked about enforcing the beach closure, Trantalis told CNN, “We will have police officers at our beach, we have a wave wall, a beautiful architectural feature to our beach and there are entry points every so often where we will have police officers stationed, just like we did during the initial shutdown in March, we closed our beaches March 15 to spring breakers, again for the same reason, again to avoid the cluster gathering of individuals who would spread the disease and take it to their families throughout the country.
“Here once again we’re using that same model, understanding that the idea is to try to help [prevent] people from contracting this disease and spreading it to others in their family. As you know, Florida just reached a high point in the number of infections and this is not acceptable, this is totally unacceptable, and our county is suffering in the same way, we have made every effort to try to restrict contact with people, we never even went into Phase 2 in Broward County, Fort Lauderdale is still at the 50 percent mark with restaurants, bars are not allowed to open and never have been, and we still have important restrictions following the CDC protocols to ensure that our people are safe, nonetheless we’re seeing an increased number of new cases, the age group is significantly dropped, its plummeted down under 35 years of age, yet people are still getting sick, our capacity in hospitals is becoming less and less available, and we’re seeing a return of a disease that everyone dreaded from day one.”
In response to Florida Governor Ronald DeSantis saying on July 1 that the coronavirus “does not like sunshine, heat, and humidity,” Trantalis said, “Well, if that were the case, then we would not have this problem. I bought into that theory, too, we heard the medical experts early on telling us that hot, humid weather is what would kill this virus. Well, guess what? It’s hot and humid. It’s been that way for months now, and we still have the virus at our doorstep. This is a very slithery virus, it finds its way everywhere, we have no idea where it’s going to strike next. All we can do is keep ourselves safe and protected, keep our distance from one another and when we can’t do that, make sure we wear masks. It’s important. At the beach we’re going to enforce it through our police department … Most people are pretty compliant, most people do not want to see this disease spread, we have a community that respects the need to go into grocery stores with masks on, it’s really the way we do things back here in Fort Lauderdale,” CNN reported.