Miami mayor adapts to life as COVID-19 patient

Suarez diagnosis prompts Miami Chief of Police Jorge Colina and City Manager Arthur Noriega to self-quarantine

MIAMI – Hours after announcing his COVID-19 diagnosis on Friday, Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez said he feels like he has “a little bit of a cold coming on” and he doesn’t have a fever.

The respiratory illness has been deadly among seniors and people with chronic health conditions. Epidemiologists have said some patients have been asymptomatic and children have recovered quickly.

Suarez’s diagnosis prompted many people to self-quarantine including some Miami commissioners, Miami Chief of Police Jorge Colina and City Manager Arthur Noriega.

“I haven’t had much rest today, unfortunately. I have been ordering Postmates and drinking protein shakes to get by,” Suarez, 42, said, adding that his symptoms have been minor, so far.

His father, former Miami Mayor Xavier L. Suarez, and his mother, Rita Suarez, a Sunset Elementary teacher, tested negative for COVID-19.

Suarez, a father of two, said he doesn’t know if he was infected when he interacted with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s communications director, Fabio Wajngarten.

Wajngarten tested positive for coronavirus after his trip to South Florida during the first weekend of March.

“I may have shaken his hand. I may have had a brief conversation with him. I mean there were a lot of people ... It’s also possible that it didn’t happen there ... it’s possible that it happened somewhere else,” Suarez said.

Suarez also said he plans to document his experience on Instagram, “so that other people can feel more relaxed about the prospect of this if they get infected.”

Watch snippets from the interview

About the Authors:

Louis Aguirre is an Emmy-award winning journalist who anchors weekday newscasts and serves as WPLG Local 10’s Environmental Advocate.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.