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Hurricane Irma caused over 400 senior deaths in Florida, study says

The aftereffects of 2017’s Hurricane Irma appear to have killed more than 400 senior residents of Florida nursing homes, a new university study shows.

Researchers at the University of South Florida and Brown University concluded that 433 additional patients died within 90 days of the September 2017 storm, compared to the same period in 2015, when there were no hurricanes.

Their study examined health data for 62,000 patients at 640 Florida nursing homes obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The study was recently released.

HURRICANE DELTA’S DEATH TOLL AT 4 AS LOUISIANA OFFICIALS STRESS GENERATOR SAFETY AFTER DEADLY FIRE

The study was prompted by the heat-related deaths of 12 residents at a Broward County nursing home. Authorities said those deaths were caused when the storm disabled the central air conditioning and the staff failed to move patients to a nearby hospital.

The study was prompted by the heat-related deaths of 12 residents at a Broward County nursing home.

The study was prompted by the heat-related deaths of 12 residents at a Broward County nursing home.
(John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

An administrator and three nurses who worked at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills have been charged with failing to prevent the deaths.

The researchers found that long-term nursing home residents suffered not only increased mortality rates after Irma, but more hospitalizations.

‘BUBBLE CURTAIN’ IS THE NEWEST CRAZY HURRICANE-KILLING IDEA

“Nursing homes need to really pay attention to these people when they’re in the process of reacting to a hurricane,” said co-author Lindsay Peterson, a research assistant professor of aging studies at USF.

In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16  and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane, moves westward, Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017, in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Leeward Islands.

In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16  and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane, moves westward, Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017, in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Leeward Islands.
(NOAA via AP)

Brian Lee, director of Families for Better Care, a nonprofit that advocates for better services at long-term care facilities, said the study shows that nursing homes need to do a better job preparing for hurricanes.

“This is an extremely vulnerable population, and nursing homes and other facilities need to do a better job of hardening their facilities to protect our loved ones,” Lee said.

After Irma, Florida required nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to install generators to keep residents cool in case of a storm. But the laws need to be tougher, Lee said.

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Nursing homes need generators that can allow cooling of residents in their rooms, not spot coolers that were used at Hollywood Hills. That required moving residents into large spaces to keep them cool. Fewer than 100 of the state’s long-term care facilities had temporary generators during Irma, the Times reported.

“We need to make sure that facilities can withstand these storms and not worry about transferring residents around and exposing them to potential transfer trauma,” Lee said.

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Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute Opens New Location In Lake Worth

FCS Chief Marketing & Sales Officer Shelly Glenn; Medical Assistant Lucille Johnson; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Shaachi Gupta, MD, MPH; FCS Chief Executive Officer Nathan Walcker; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Napoleon Santos, DO; Office Manager Anna Gallardo; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Howard M. Goodman, MD; Regional Director Laura Greene; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Shachar Peles, MD; Medical Assistant Ashlee Owens; Michele Innocent, APRN; Medical Assistant Paola Council; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Elizabeth Byron, MD; Kelsey Hagan, PA-C; Regional Physician Liaison Manager Rebecca Appelbaum
FCS Chief Marketing & Sales Officer Shelly Glenn; Medical Assistant Lucille Johnson; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Shaachi Gupta, MD, MPH; FCS Chief Executive Officer Nathan Walcker; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Napoleon Santos, DO; Office Manager Anna Gallardo; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Howard M. Goodman, MD; Regional Director Laura Greene; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Shachar Peles, MD; Medical Assistant Ashlee Owens; Michele Innocent, APRN; Medical Assistant Paola Council; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Elizabeth Byron, MD; Kelsey Hagan, PA-C; Regional Physician Liaison Manager Rebecca Appelbaum
FCS Chief Marketing & Sales Officer Shelly Glenn; Medical Assistant Lucille Johnson; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Shaachi Gupta, MD, MPH; FCS Chief Executive Officer Nathan Walcker; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Napoleon Santos, DO; Office Manager Anna Gallardo; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Howard M. Goodman, MD; Regional Director Laura Greene; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Shachar Peles, MD; Medical Assistant Ashlee Owens; Michele Innocent, APRN; Medical Assistant Paola Council; Medical Oncologist/Hematologist Elizabeth Byron, MD; Kelsey Hagan, PA-C; Regional Physician Liaison Manager Rebecca Appelbaum
Chief Executive Officer Nathan Walcker; President & Managing Physician Lucio Gordan, MD, Medical Oncologist Shachar Peles, MD
Chief Executive Officer Nathan Walcker; President & Managing Physician Lucio Gordan, MD, Medical Oncologist Shachar Peles, MD
Chief Executive Officer Nathan Walcker; President & Managing Physician Lucio Gordan, MD, Medical Oncologist Shachar Peles, MD

Fort Myers, Fla., Oct. 13, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fort Myers, Fla., Oct. 12, 2020 — Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) opened a new facility at 4801 South Congress Ave., Lake Worth, FL 33461 to provide comprehensive treatments and a variety of services to adults with cancer and other diseases. The new location replaces the previous FCS clinic at 5507 South Congress Ave., Suite 130, Atlantis, FL 33462.

The clinic is an expansion of space that includes more than 9,000 square feet, nine private exam rooms and 22 chemotherapy infusion chairs. Patients have access to all existing services and providers, in a comfortable, spacious setting.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to provide patients who live in and around Palm Beach County with convenient access to the most advanced treatments close to home,” said FCS CEO Nathan H. Walcker.

“Our new location offers the most advanced treatments for cancer, blood disorders and other diseases in an individualized and compassionate manner,” said FCS President & Managing Physician Dr. Lucio Gordan.

FCS Medical Oncologist Dr. Shachar Peles said, “My colleagues and I are excited to be able to care for our patients in this new facility. It’s a privilege to provide cutting-edge cancer treatments in the comfort of our patients’ local community.”

Four Board-certified medical oncologists Drs. Elizabeth Byron, Shaachi Gupta, Shachar Peles, Napoleon Santos and Board-certified gynecologic oncologist Dr. Howard Goodman, are joined by a team of cancer experts and support staff to provide care in the new Lake Worth office.

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About Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute, LLC: (FLCancer.com)

Recognized by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) with a national Clinical Trials Participation Award, Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute (FCS) offers patients access to more clinical trials than any private oncology practice in Florida. Over the past 5 years, the majority of new cancer drugs approved for use in the U.S. were

Trump Holds Florida Rally After White House Physician Reports Negative COVID-19 Tests

On Monday, White House physician Sean Conley said that President Trump had registered consecutive days in which he’s tested negative for COVID-19. The news came on the same date that Trump headed to a packed campaign rally in Sanford, Florida. 

“In response to your inquiry regarding the President’s most recent COVID-19 tests, I can share with you that he has tested NEGATIVE, on consecutive days, using the Abbott BinaxNOW antigen card,” said Conley. He added that those tests occurred “in context with additional clinical and laboratory data.”

Speaking of this data, Conley wrote that it was made up of “viral load, subgenomic RNA and PCR cycle threshold measurements, as well as ongoing assessment of viral culture data.”

The letter concluded that the president is “not infectious to others,” which echoes a similar message that Conley issued on Saturday. He also stated, on Saturday, that the president is cleared for an “active schedule.” 

CNN adds that it’s not clear what consecutive days Trump tested positive, while also noting that the Abbott BinaxNOW test he reportedly took may lack precision, as it’s only proven accurate in people being tested within the first week of their symptoms starting to show. The FDA has also said they’re not certain of how accurate Abbott BinaxNOW results are. 

Trump’s positive test was first announced on Thursday, October 1. The White House has not said when the president last tested negative prior to that announcement. 

As for that aforementioned rally, a large crowd gathered for the event. The campaign was issuing temperature checks and distributed masks/hand sanitizer, but social distancing remained absent. 

Trump also claimed to be “immune” and offered to kiss anyone in the crowd daring enough to chance it:

On a related note, this all comes on the same day that Dr. Anthony Fauci said that holding large rallies “was asking for trouble” due to the virus’s surge in several states. 

“We know that that is asking for trouble when you do that,” Fauci said of Trump’s decision to re-up a full campaign rallying schedule, according to The New York Times. “We’ve seen that when you have situations of congregate settings where there are

Hours before Trump campaigns in Florida, Fauci cautions against holding rallies, saying it is ‘asking for trouble.’

Hours before President Trump was set to return to the campaign trail in Florida on Monday, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, warned that holding large rallies was “asking for trouble” with cases of the coronavirus surging in many states.

Dr. Fauci, in an interview with CNN, said that Americans needed to be more cautious in the fall and winter months, and warned that rising rates of infections in a number of states suggested Americans should be “doubling down” on precautions rather than casting them aside.

“We know that that is asking for trouble when you do that,” Dr. Fauci said of Mr. Trump’s decision to begin a full schedule of campaign rallies. “We’ve seen that when you have situations of congregate settings where there are a lot of people without masks, the data speak for themselves. It happens. And now is even more so a worse time to do that, because when you look at what’s going on in the United States, it’s really very troublesome.”

He noted that many states were now seeing increases in positive tests. “It’s going in the wrong direction right now,” he said.

He said that people should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing — and avoid large gatherings — to prevent new outbreaks. “That’s just a recipe of a real problem if we don’t get things under control before we get into that seasonal challenge,” he said.

Dr. Fauci’s comments came one day after he objected to a new Trump campaign television ad that portrayed him as praising the president’s response to the pandemic.

Dr. Fauci reiterated on Monday that the ad had taken his past remarks out of context, and called his inclusion in it “very disappointing.” He said he had been speaking more broadly about the collaborative efforts of the federal government and was “not a political person.” Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper whether the ad should be taken down, something the Trump campaign says it has no intention of doing, Dr. Fauci said, “I think so.”

In an interview with The Times on Monday, Dr. Fauci said that he had been unsuccessful so far in having the ad removed.

“I wouldn’t know who to contact in the campaign to tell them to pull it down,” he said. “I spoke to someone who I know well in the White House to figure it out for me and tell me how to get it down. I haven’t heard back from them yet.”

Dr. Fauci said that he did not want to be pulled into the fray of the campaign.

“I never in my five decades ever directly or indirectly supported a political candidate and I’m not going to start now,” he said. “I do not want to be involved in it.”

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Florida Gov. DeSantis explains his handling of coronavirus: ‘We wanted society to function’

“You can’t kneecap your own society and think you’re going to successfully handle a pandemic,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told Fox News’ “Life, Liberty & Levin” in an interview airing Sunday night.

The Republican DeSantis has been harshly criticized by the mainstream media for his handling of COVID-19. The governor declined to issue a statewide face mask mandate and lifted restrictions on bars and movie theaters in early June. Last month, DeSantis lifted all state capacity restrictions on bars and restaurants.

“What we did, Mark, was really three things,” DeSantis told host Mark Levin. “One is protect those who are the most vulnerable to the disease, which is our elderly population, and focus that protection there rather than trying to suppress society as a whole. Second thing is, we want to make sure that our hospital system had what they needed in terms of PPE, medication, testing, and we were able to do that.

“But then third, and I think this is really important, we wanted society to function. You can’t burn down the village in order to save it … So if you look now, Florida’s open for business. We have everything — like theme parks, all that have been open for months. And we have kids in school in person. Parents have the option to opt for virtual [learning] if they want, but they have the in-person [option], which is very, very important.”

WATCH ‘LIFE, LIBERTY & LEVIN’ SUNDAYS AT 8 PM ET ON FOX NEWS CHANNEL

As of Saturday, Florida (population: 21.5 million) had recorded 15,186 deaths from COVID-19, compared to 32,875 in New York state (population: 19.5 million).

“One of the things we did in the middle of March is we prohibited hospitals from discharging ill patients with coronavirus back into nursing homes because many of them were not equipped to handle that,” DeSantis explained. “And so what we did instead is we established a lot of COVID-only nursing units throughout the state. So if you had someone test positive in a nursing home, but they weren’t ill enough to need hospitalization, they had a safe place to be isolated in.”

DESANTIS: CLOSING SCHOOL IN SPRING MIGHT HAVE BEEN ONE OF NATION’S ‘BIGGEST PUBLIC HEALTH MISTAKES’

According to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), 3,202 Florida nursing home residents had died of coronavirus as of Sept. 27. It’s unclear how many New York state nursing home residents have died of the illness because the state does not count residents who died in hospitals as part of the total. However, an Associated Press report from August suggested the number could go as high as 11,000.

“One of the problems that we had in terms of some of the restrictions with nursing homes was we stopped the visitation early on,” DeSantis recalled. “We didn’t want the disease to get in. I think most of the people wanted that done. But after months of this, you start to see loneliness and despair creep in … We

Florida won’t report Saturday’s COVID-19 numbers, deaths

For the first time in seven months, Florida officials on Saturday did not release the number of confirmed cases or deaths from COVID-19.

Officials blame an influx of test results Florida received from a private laboratory that is not affiliated with the state, according to a statement from Fred Piccolo, a spokesman for Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The state’s daily update had been released consistently since the onset of the pandemic in Florida. It included case numbers, death totals and hospitalizations for all 67 counties. The daily report will begin again on Sunday, according to Piccolo, and will also include data that was originally supposed to be released Saturday.

Related: Florida adds 2,908 coronavirus cases, 118 deaths Friday

Piccolo said that Florida’s Department of Health needs to “de-duplicate” around 400,000 previously-reported COVID-19 test results from Helix Laboratory. The “massive” amount of data from the laboratory prevented Florida’s automatic reporting system from processing data that would be used to produce Saturday’s daily report, he said.

“State epidemiologists are currently working to reconcile the data, which will take a day to finish,” Piccolo said in a statement. “Therefore, the daily report will resume tomorrow.”

The issue is not related to informing people about their test results, Piccolo said, which is handled by the labs or organizations that conduct the tests.

The announcement from Piccolo came more than five hours after the usual time that the state releases its daily report. The Florida Department of Health did not return calls and emails from the Tampa Bay Times asking about Saturday’s data. The department’s social media did not acknowledge Saturday’s delay.

Instead of the latest numbers, Floridians who checked the Department of Health’s dashboard on Saturday saw the state’s numbers from Friday: 728,921 total cases and 15,372 deaths. The weekly death average was about 92 people announced dead per day.

There were 2,908 new cases of the coronavirus and 118 deaths reported Friday. The state had about 2,100 people who were hospitalized at that time, too, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. Around 460 of those were in Tampa Bay.

The number of coronavirus cases per day continues to rise in school’s throughout Tampa Bay, with 113 new cases this past week in Hillsborough County K-12 schools alone. There was a similar trend for local universities, too, with the University of South Florida reporting 25 new cases across its campuses this week and 121 new cases for the University of Tampa.

The Tampa Bay region saw 593 coronavirus cases and 16 deaths Friday. Six of the dead were from Hillsborough, four from Pinellas and Citrus and Polk counties each had three deaths.

• • •

HOW CORONAVIRUS IS SPREADING IN FLORIDA: Find the latest numbers for your county, city or zip code.

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Trump suggests he may hold weekend rallies in Florida, Pennsylvania after receiving green light from doctor

President Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an exclusive interview Thursday that his campaign is trying to make last-minute arrangements for holding weekend rallies in Florida and Pennsylvania after White House physician Dr. Sean Conley cleared him for public engagements earlier in the day.

“I think I’m going to try doing a rally on Saturday night if we have enough time to put it together,” Trump said on “Hannity”.

WH DR: TRUMP CAN RETURN TO PUBLIC ENGAGEMENTS THIS WEEKEND

“We want to do a rally probably in Florida on Saturday night. I might come back and do one in Pennsylvania the following night,” he said, adding that “it’s incredible what’s going on. I feel so good.”

Dr. Conley sent out a memorandum Thursday evening stating that Trump will be able to return to public engagements this weekend, noting that Saturday will mark ten days since he was first diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Conely’s memo stated that Trump has responded “extremely well to treatment” and added there is no sign of “adverse therapeutic effects.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people “with mild to moderate COVID-19 remain infectious no longer than 10 days after symptom onset. People with more severe symptoms can remain infectious for longer.”

TRUMP ACKNOWLEDGES HE WAS ‘VERY SICK’ WHEN HE WAS HOSPITALIZED FOR COVID 

Trump said he will “probably” take a test on Friday to be sure of a negative result, but claimed his doctors “found very little infection or virus, if any,” in a previous unspecified test.

“I don’t know if they found any,” he said. “I didn’t go into it greatly with the doctors. We have these great doctors at Walter Reed, and you do rely on them, they are really fantastic talents and they came in from Johns Hopkins also and other places.

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Trump said he was being closely monitored, telling Hannity that he “never saw so many doctors looking over me.

“I think I’m the most analyzed human being in the world right now,” he said.

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Inside a Florida hospital, coronavirus cases wane as strained staff brace for a fall surge

This is what a lull looks like.

Florida was a hot spot of the coronavirus pandemic this summer. More than 722,000 Floridians have so far been infected with the virus — with a daily high of more than 15,000 cases reported July 12. The state’s intensive care units, including those at Tampa General, were pushed to the brink as the virus spread out of control. The spike came weeks after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) quickly reopened much of the state, casting it as a return to normalcy.

By late August, when The Washington Post visited Tampa General, cases statewide had sharply declined, and treating 22 critically ill patients was a reprieve of sorts for the hospital’s staff. The downstairs garage that was transformed into a spillover triage unit during the surge was empty, and a few beds were open in the ICU. Take your vacations now, hospital executives urged doctors and nurses. The break was not expected to last.

Tampa General could serve as a case study for hospitals across the country that have been tested by the coronavirus. Like others, the hospital is bracing for another likely surge now that students and staff are back in school. Flu season is on the horizon. No one knows what hurricane season, which ends Nov. 30, will bring. And state rules to help curb the virus have ended.

DeSantis lifted statewide virus restrictions Sept. 25, a day when more than 2,800 Floridians were diagnosed with the coronavirus and 122 deaths were recorded. In an executive order, the governor, a close ally of President Trump, allowed bars and restaurants to operate at full capacity and suspended the collection of virus-related fines and penalties, such as those against people who are not wearing masks. DeSantis mused that week about establishing a “bill of rights” of sort to protect college students from facing punishment for violating campus social distancing orders. Hundreds have tested positive on Florida campuses, many after attending massive parties.

“That’s what college kids do,” DeSantis said of partying students.

Some local governments — including Tampa — said mask mandates are still in place.

In the meantime, doctors here and elsewhere are still mystified by so much about the disease: How many of the coronavirus patients who survive intensive care will suffer long-term health effects? Why do some patients deteriorate so quickly, while others with seemingly identical health profiles fare well? These questions still vastly outnumber those that can be answered with certainty.

Morale ebbs as staffers face the relentless task of confronting a disease that has dramatically upended their lives inside and outside the hospital. In both places, staff battle pervasive misinformation about the virus and distrust of the medical system, even from some of the sickest patients. Large numbers of health-care workers are falling ill — at least 420 Tampa General staffers have tested positive for the virus since March, though it is unclear where they contracted it.

“It’s an absolute grind. It’s a grind on people physically. It’s a grind

Florida forges ahead in lifting curbs amid virus concerns

MIAMI — As the summer coronavirus spike in Sunbelt states subsides, Florida has gone the furthest in lifting restrictions, especially on restaurants where the burden of ensuring safety has shifted to business owners and residents — raising concerns of a resurgence.

In his drive to return the state to normalcy, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted limits on indoor seating at restaurants, saying they can operate at 100% in cities and counties with no restrictions and that other local governments with some restrictions can’t limit indoor seating by more than 50%.

In some of Florida’s touristy neighborhoods, patrons have since been flocking to bars and restaurants, filling terraces, defying mask orders — drawing mixed reactions from business owners and other customers.

“We’re generally concerned that we’re going to find ourselves on the other side of an inverted curve and erasing all the progress we’ve made,” said Albert Garcia, chairman of the Wynwood Business improvement district, which represents 50 blocks of restaurants and bars in Miami’s trendy arts district.

Other Sunbelt states that have been COVID-19 hot spots over the summer haven’t gone as far. In Texas, bars have been closed since June under Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders, and restaurants can hold up to 75% of their capacity, while face covers are required throughout the state. And in Arizona, restaurants and bars must run at half-capacity.

Though Florida’s governor generally wears a mask when arriving at public appearances and has allowed municipalities to impose mask rules, he has declined to impose a statewide mandate. And on Sept. 25, as the state entered a Phase 3 reopening, he barred municipalities from collecting fines for mask violations.

DeSantis says contact tracing has not shown restaurants to be substantial sources of spread.

“I am confident that these restaurants want to have safe environments,” he said earlier this week. “And I’m also confident that as a consumer, if you don’t go and you don’t think they’re taking precautions, then obviously you’re going to take your business elsewhere.”

Craig O’Keefe, managing partner for Johnnie Brown’s and Lionfish in Delray Beach, said they’re now accommodating as many people as they did before the pandemic began and he’s hired eight people in the past few days. Demand surged last weekend.

“It was like someone turned the light on,” O’Keefe said. “It was great to see people out smiling, having fun getting to see each other. It’s been a really nice thing to get people back to work.”

Shutdowns and restrictions have battered Florida’s economy, leaving hundreds of thousands unemployed in the tourist-dependent state.

Earlier this week, The Walt Disney Co. announced it would lay off 28,000 workers in its theme parks division even after the Florida parks were allowed to reopen this summer.

Florida has had more than 14,500 deaths from the pandemic, ranking 12th per capita among states. Its outbreak peaked in the summer, seeing as many as 12,000-15,000 cases added per day. New cases, positivity rates, hospitalizations and deaths have been on a downward trend for

As Trump is hospitalized for coronavirus, another Florida Republican recounts his own scare

The doctor studied an X-ray of Chris Latvala’s lungs and quizzically turned to his patient.

“How long have you been a smoker?”

Latvala does not smoke. He had the coronavirus.

Latvala, a Republican state representative from Palm Harbor, arrived at Largo Medical Center on Aug. 29. By then, the infection had turned his lungs against him and a two-week internal war was underway. His whole body ached. He lost his sense of smell. He couldn’t eat. His chest felt like a truck was sitting on it. His oxygen levels plummeted.

It was, he wrote on Facebook on Sept. 4 from his hospital room, “the hardest thing I have ever faced in my life.”

Latvala left the hospital nine days later but remained quarantined at home for the rest of the month. It wasn’t until this week that Latvala ventured out in public again, a freedom he regained just as the biggest news of the 2020 presidential campaign broke.

On Friday, President Donald Trump became the most notable Florida politician — and the most famous person in the world — to announce testing positive for the coronavirus. He has since received treatment from a team of doctors at Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland and has begun a critical 48 hours of care, according to Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff.

In a Saturday interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Latvala recalled the early stages of his battle.

A doctor promised the hospital would provide the best treatment it could, but asked Latvala for one promise.

“What’s that?” Latvala responded.

“You have to promise if you get worse, you’re not going to give up.”

•••

Latvala never lost consciousness during his his 14 days over two stints in the hospital — a blessing, he said, that allowed him to avoid darker thoughts.

For him, the hardest moments came waiting for what was next.

“The doctor tells you Day 13 and Day 14 are the worst,” Latvala said. “And you’re counting down to those days and you’re wondering, ‘What does worse feel like?’ ”

Outside Walter Reed on Saturday, Trump’s physician, Dr. James Conley, told reporters that the president was in the third day of his diagnosis and that Days 7 through 10 “are the most critical.”

Trump already had symptoms that Latvala did not experience early in his battle with the virus, such as fatigue and congestion. Trump reportedly received oxygen at the White House on Friday before he was taken by helicopter to the hospital, something Latvala didn’t need until later in his hospital stay.

Trump is being treated intravenously with remdesivir, an antiviral medication that has produced promising results. From his own experience with the drug, Latvala said he knows that it requires at least five days of hospitalization while it’s administered.

At age 74, Trump belongs to a higher-risk population than Latvala, who is 38. Like Trump, Latvala is heavyset but otherwise didn’t have any other known health problems. Trump has elevated cholesterol and made