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Rubio Says Coronavirus Surge From ‘People Behaving Like People’

Sen. Marco Rubio on a phone in his office
News Service of Florida
The Florida Channel
Rubio, during an appearance on CNBC's "Squawk Box" anecdotally attributed the increase in COVID-19 cases to a natural desire of people to interact with others.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said Monday that Congress is close to figuring out a relief package aimed at small businesses, while he pointed to “negative news” about the coronavirus pandemic affecting travel to areas moving toward reopening.

Rubio, during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” also anecdotally attributed the increase in COVID-19 cases to a natural desire of people to interact with others.

“I don't think there's any evidence that restaurants or Disney World, which is an outdoor setting, or beaches or parks, are the cause of this surge,” Rubio said. “I think the surge is coming from people behaving like people. And that's what makes a virus like this so problematic. It asks us not to do what comes natural to us, and that is interact with other human beings. And this is going to be a challenge we're going to face for the foreseeable future.”

Rubio said tourism is being affected in parts of Florida that have not seen as big of a surge in cases as other regions that are hot spots.

“I was talking to a hotel owner in Northwest Florida this weekend,” Rubio said. “They were packed during the Fourth of July. And then suddenly, you know, they lost 30 percent of their reservations going into the new week because people are watching on the news about Florida and so forth, even though this county itself has not been impacted.”

As for additional federal relief, Rubio said Congress is targeting small businesses.

“I think we're 90 percent of the way there in terms of putting together some ideas about how to help some truly small businesses, under 300 employees or less, micro-targeted not just for payroll but for the costs of paying for some of these adaptive technologies that they have to come up with in order to comply with local regulations,” he said.