Dr Jonathan Reiner, in an interview with the network’s Jim Acosta on Sunday, said the viral load among Floridians was high enough to warrant closing-it off if it “were another country”.
Only Louisiana and Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa, are currently witnessing a bigger surge in infections of Covid – largely brought about by the Delta variant.
“The viral load in Florida is so high right now, there are only really two places on the planet where it's higher,” said Dr Reiner. “One is Louisiana, and the other is Botswana.”
He continued: “It's so high in Florida that I think that if Florida were another country, we would have to consider banning travel from Florida to the United States.”
On Friday, the state recorded a further 23,903 cases, breaking its single-day total for the third time in a week.
Infections are 38 per cent higher than a fortnight ago, according to figures from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and hospitalisations are 21 per cent higher.
Both figures are beyond what was reported at the beginning of the Covid outbreak in Florida.
Dr Reiner, in a warning for Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis, told the Republican to “back off” because “people are dying in Florida”.
“He has to back off a little bit,” said the doctor of Mr DeSantis, who has refused to allow businesses and local authorities to order mask wearing – amid other measures to slow the spread of Covid.
“We have a governor more interested in playing politics than saving lives,” said MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski on Sunday. “The DeSantis variant, that’s why one in four new Covid cases are coming out of Florida.”
“This is completely preventable. And the governor of Florida owns this one. The most tragic part of this story is almost all of these hospitalisations and deaths would have and could have been avoided if misguided Americans are not followed the crazed teachings of a growing death cult.”