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Miami COVID Narrative Is a ‘Distraction’ from Annual Spring-Break Chaos, City Commissioner Says

Police officers patrol Ocean Drive as revelers enjoy spring break festivities in Miami Beach, Fla., March 22, 2021. (Marco Bello/Reuters)

Ricky Arriola has seen the images broadcast on cable TV news and social media: Miami Beach police officers firing pepper balls at giant crowds of unruly spring breakers, melees erupting in local restaurants, young people dancing on parked cars and fighting in the streets.

“It’s embarrassing,” said Arriola, a Miami Beach city commissioner. “That’s not who we are.”

For days now, Miami Beach has been a focal point for national media, with much of the attention on the large, mask-less crowds gathered during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. CNN has continued to play images of rowdy Miami Beach spring-break crowds along with CDC

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Ryan Mills is a media reporter at National Review. He previously worked for 14 years as a breaking news reporter, investigative reporter, and editor at newspapers in Florida. Originally from Minnesota, Ryan lives in the Fort Myers area with his wife and two sons.

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