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Miami Beach ‘Joker’ Video Viewed Over 1 Million Times As City Extends Spring Break Curfew

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A video of a man in Miami Beach with his face painted like The Joker shouting “COVID’s over baby!” while waving an American flag has gone viral on Twitter.

The video, shared by documentary filmmaker Billy Corben, has received at least 1.3 million views since it was first posted on Saturday.

The video was shared on the day that Miami Beach imposed an 8 p.m. curfew in its entertainment district and other “emergency measures” following concerns over unruly spring break crowds amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The curfew has been extended for another week and could be in place through April if needed, city officials said following a meeting on Sunday.

Corben, the director of the documentary films Cocaine Cowboys and The U, has highlighted “Florida Man” behavior across the state for many years.

WARNING: Strong language in the clip below.

Paints face and hair like the Joker, goes to South Beach, climbs up on a car with an American flag, screams “Fucking COVID is over baby!” and makes it rain. #BecauseMiami pic.twitter.com/JTLEjzCZps

— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) March 20, 2021

Corben tweeted: “Paints face and hair like the Joker, goes to South Beach, climbs up on a car with an American flag, screams ‘F***ing COVID is over baby!’ and makes it rain. #BecauseMiami.”

The topless man in the video can be heard shouting: “F***ing COVID’s over, man. COVID’s over baby! F**k that s***!…” while waving the U.S. flag on top of a vehicle, watched by several maskless people below him.

There is no statewide mask mandate in place in Florida. But local orders are in effect in some areas, including Miami-Dade, Broward (whose county seat is Fort Lauderdale) and Orange counties.

Miami Beach City Manager Raul Aguila declared a state of emergency across the city on Saturday following “significant concerns relating to larger than expected spring break crowds” raised by the Miami Beach Police Department.

Citing over 1,000 arrests made in the city so far, Miami Beach officials warned Sunday that unruly crowds gathering by the thousands have become a serious threat to public safety. People were reported to be fighting in the streets, destroying restaurant property and refusing to wear face coverings.

The Miami Beach Police Department said “since Friday, we have made over 50 arrests and confiscated 8 firearms” in a tweet Sunday.

City officials said the crowds included not just students but other adults looking to enjoy a break in a state where restrictions have been relaxed amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

Over half of the more than 1,000 arrests so far were from out of state, Aguila said, noting many are coming “to engage in lawlessness and an anything-goes party attitude.”

Last September, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order barring individuals from being fined for not wearing masks. He also lifted restrictions on businesses such as restaurants, which may operate at 50 percent capacity.

“Every business has the right to operate,” DeSantis said at the time. “Some of the locals can do reasonable regulations. But you can’t just say no.”

By Thursday the crowds were reported to have been growing, with fights breaking out and dangerous stampedes of people running for safety, according to Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements.

By Friday evening one restaurant was “turned upside down” while “chairs were used as weapons” and the floor was covered in broken glass, police said.

“We couldn’t go on any longer,” Clements said at Sunday’s meeting. “I think this [imposing the curfew] was the right decision.”

The 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew is in place within the city’s “High Impact Zone,” which encompasses the area bounded by Ocean Drive in the east, Pennsylvania avenue in the west, 5 Street in the south and 16th Street in the north.

Ocean Drive is closed to all pedestrian and vehicle traffic, except for residents and hotel guests. All restaurants are limited to delivery services, while all sidewalk cafe operations, including outdoor restaurant seating, are suspended from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Eastbound lanes on the MacArthur Causeway, Julia Tuttle Causeway and Venetian Causeway are closed to traffic from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., except for residents, hotel guests and employees of businesses in the city. Delivery services are allowed to operate past midnight, according to the city’s latest statement Sunday.

Anyone violating these emergency measures, including individuals, businesses and organizations, is subject to “arrest and criminal prosecution,” the statement warned.

The latest measures come as total confirmed cases in Florida surpass two million, with 32,742 total reported deaths, as of Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

A total of 8,186,888 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered across the state, as of Sunday, according to the latest report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Back in early March, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned: “Every time there’s a surge in travel, we have a surge in cases in this country,” at a White House press briefing.

“We are really trying to restrain travel at this current period of time,” she said at the time.

Last month, Walensky said: “The continued proliferation of variants remains a great concern and is a threat that could reverse the recent positive trends that we are seeing.

“Please continue to wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with. Avoid travel, crowds and poorly ventilated spaces and get vaccinated when it’s available to you,” she said at the time.

STATISTA

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