Pinellas physician believes COVID-19 cases will rise, if changes don’t happen right away

Coronavirus

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – When three bars in St. Petersburg and a restaurant in Tarpon Springs closed over the weekend after employees tested positive for COVID-19, Dr. Mark Michelman wasn’t surprised.

“I’m not just a citizen, I’m a physician,” said Dr. Michelman. “I’m a concerned physician.”

Dr. Michelman spent years as the Vice President of Medical Affairs at Morton Plant Hospital. He has since retired, but has been watching the coronavirus numbers very closely, and questions why Gov. DeSantis would allow bars to open when the numbers appear to be rising.

“I’ve seen these pictures all the time where they’re shoulder to shoulder, yelling and screaming, no masks, no social distancing at all,” said Dr. Michelman. “And when the governor opens up the bars, a lot of the people at the bars are of the age group which is now highly infectious. “

The bars that shut down are The Galley at 27 4th St. N, Park and Rec DTSP at 100 4th St. S. and the Avenue Eat + Drink at 330 1st Ave. S.

The restaurant that is temporarily closed is Rusty Bellies. According to the eatery’s Facebook page, it hopes to reopen sometime this week.

Dr. Michelman believes Gov. Desantis needs to reconsider what businesses should reopen and what one should remain closed.

“We already have three thousand deaths, how many more deaths do we want?” Questioned Dr. Michelman. “And it’s clear that the governor opened up the state for economical reasons and not for, and by doing that at the expense of human lives. “

Moving forward, Dr. Michelman is extremely concerned that the state seems to be inviting others into the state for sports and the Republican National Convention, who could drive COVID-19 numbers even higher.

FILE – In this July 21, 2016, file photo, confetti and balloons fall during celebrations after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s acceptance speech on the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. President Donald Trump demanded Monday, May 25, 2020, that North Carolina’s Democratic governor sign off “immediately” on allowing the Republican National Convention to move forward in August with full attendance despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Trump’s tweets Monday about the RNC, planned for Charlotte, come just two days after the North Carolina recorded its largest daily increase in positive cases yet. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

“Our president does not want to have any facial coverings, does not want any social distancing and how do you do that in an auditorium with 25, 30, 35,000 people? It’s not going to happen. “

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