Rubio: 'Everyone should just wear a damn mask'

Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP lawmakers distance themselves from Trump comments on transfer of power McConnell pushes back on Trump: 'There will be an orderly transition' Graham vows GOP will accept election results after Trump comments MORE (R-Fla.) said Wednesday that “everyone” should be wearing a mask to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus as states across the country report troubling surges in confirmed cases and hospitalizations.

"The area where I think we have to definitely really surge on is nursing homes, ALFs [assisted living facilities], congregate living facilities that have a high number of people or obviously populations of people that are high risk. Those are the places where you're really going to cut down the death rate if you can prevent outbreaks ... and that's where I hope we focus both our testing and our prevention effort," Rubio told reporters after a GOP lunch with Vice President Pence. "And then everyone should just wear a damn mask, like you guys are, like I am right now."

"I would just encourage everyone — that's what I said in there — to sort of become informed of the nuances of how your state is reporting. In Florida, the state tells us 20 percent of the COVID cases that register as hospitalizations are people that are in the hospital for something else, like a knee replacement, but they're tested so they tested positive," he added.


Florida is one of several states seeing dramatic spikes in the virus. The state broke its own single-day record Wednesday, reporting 5,500 new cases after hitting a previous high of 4,049 cases just four days ago.

While the White House has said that increased testing is behind the surge, Florida’s positivity rate for tests is also up to 15.9 percent. The largest percentage of cases is in the 25-to-34 age group.

The spikes have led several cities, including Miami, to require residents to wear masks in public, but Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisOvernight Health Care: New wave of COVID-19 cases builds in US | Florida to lift all coronavirus restrictions on restaurants, bars | Trump stirs questions with 0 drug coupon plan On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Florida to lift all COVID-19 restrictions on restaurants, bars MORE (R) has said he will not mandate mask use throughout the Sunshine State.

Nationwide, the daily number of new COVID-19 cases is the highest it has been since the height of the pandemic two months ago, reaching 34,700 on Tuesday.