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Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio slammed the “irrational hysteria” surrounding the surge of coronavirus cases as the omicron variant spreads.
“Record numbers testing positive for a sore throat isn’t a crisis. And people in the hospital for car accidents testing positive isn’t a surge,” Rubio tweeted Friday.
“The real crisis is the irrational hysteria which has people with no symptoms waiting hours for a test or missing work for 10 days.”
The average number of daily cases in the U.S. sits at 386,920 as of Saturday, the New York Times reported. Rubio’s home state of Florida broke its single-day record of total coronavirus cases for the fourth time in seven days last week, recording 75,900 cases on Dec. 31.
UNITED STATES – MAY 26: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., walks to the Senate subway after a vote in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images) ( (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images))
The spread of omicron during the holiday season has sparked thousands of people across the nation to get tested. Americans have sounded off with frustration over long lines and hours-long wait times at testing facilities as the country grapples with a shortage of at-home testing kits.
Everett, MA – December 28: Long COVID testing lines at Rivergreen Park in Everett, MA on December 28, 2021. (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images) (Photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Studies indicate the omicron variant is more mild than previous iterations, including a study from a group of American and Japanese researchers finding that the variant has less damaging effects on the lungs, nose and throat. A recent study out of the U.K. also found people infected with omicron are less likely to need hospitalization compared to those with the Delta variant.
Later on New Year’s Eve, Rubio tweeted he was happy to see the stadium for the Orange Bowl in the Miami area was packed despite the “hysteria.”
“Very happy to see a packed stadium for tonight’s #OrangeBowl,” he tweeted. “There is no reason to close, limit or cancel anything. Ignore the hysteria & have a great New Years Eve!”