By Jim DeFede

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Sen. Marco Rubio is warning we are entering a period that is “going to be very difficult” in Florida and the actions taken now will decide whether our local healthcare system will become overwhelmed by the coronavirus.

“These are going to be the toughest 30 days for us,” Rubio told CBS4’s Jim DeFede. “Now how tough it is, how many people get infected, a lot of that depends on what we are doing right now. Are we staying away from each other so that people aren’t passing on the infection?”

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“And ultimately the way I see it is we are buying time,” he continued. “Every day that we can slow down the infection rate we are buying time for hospitals to build capacity. What you can’t have is everybody get sick at the same time because that would crush our system and that’s true anywhere in the country.”

Rubio said it is clear the global pandemic is going to have a lasting impact on how we live our lives.

“I can tell you that there has never been a dramatic global event such as this in the history of our country – in the history of the world – that has not transformed the societies that it impacted,” he said. “This is a global event. I don’t know what the world will look like exactly after this, but it won’t look like this. It will have an impact on reordering the global economic order, the geopolitical order, and certainly our domestic politics.”

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The crisis has also shown the weaknesses in the drive over the last 30 years toward globalization. America, he said, will have to start building things again.

“One area I do think we will never go back to is this notion that we don’t have to have an industrial capacity,” Rubio said. “We cannot depend on foreign production of critical elements of our economic supply chain, whether its technology, or pharmaceuticals or now we’ve learned nasal swabs for medical tests and protective gear for medical personnel. And I think that is part of the dynamic that will never change.”

“I believe in capitalism 100 percent because capitalism will always allocate capital to its most efficient use,” he added. “Unfortunately, sometimes the most efficient use of capital, the most efficient outcome, is not in our national interest. So, it is probably a lot cheaper and more efficient to build ventilators in China or abroad, it is certainly not in our national interest as we are learning right now.”

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Jim DeFede