Officials in Los Angeles, Seattle and Miami-Dade County (Florida) recognized that anti-police protests and riots in the U.S. may have led to increased spread of the coronavirus, according to a Fox News report.
The three cities experienced an increase in coronavirus cases after weeks of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd while in custody by the Minneapolis police in late May. Many Democrats and public health professionals expressed support for the demonstrations, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Two days after claiming that there was “no conclusive evidence” to show a connection between protests and the increase in cases of the virus, Garcetti reviewed his position, saying that the county’s director of public health “thinks that part of the spread that has occurred comes from our protests “.
The county registered a record 3,187 new cases of coronavirus on Friday (3), the highest daily total since the pandemic began, health officials reported on Sunday.
Still, Garcetti did not blame the protesters. “It is not the act of protesting – it is an excellent and American thing to do, regardless of your opinion… But to protest without maintaining physical distance, without wearing a mask, without having disinfectant – We just need to be smart. Be in a protest or at home, at work or shopping, these rules don’t change. “
In Miami-Dade, the protests were a “contributing factor” to the increase in the number of cases, a spokesman for the mayor told Fox News.
A team of specialist doctors who assisted Mayor Carlos A. Giménez told him that, based on information from local emergency departments, the protests were a factor that contributed to the spread of the virus, “along with our community by letting down their guard and not practicing social detachment or wearing masks, as required. Graduation parties, house parties and restaurants that illegally became clubs after midnight also contributed to the increase. “
Giménez issued a curfew last week, in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus in the municipality.
Meanwhile, Seattle City health worker James Apa told Fox News that any impact of the protests was marginal: “A small percentage of the total number of reported cases went to a protest, which may or may not mean that they got it there. The protests are not driving our increase in cases. “
In New York, although the WNBC reported that over the course of a week the percentage of positive coronavirus cases in the city increased for four consecutive days, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office maintained that the protests did not affect community dissemination in the city.
“Based on our health indicators, which measure hospital admissions, number of people in the ICU and percentage of New Yorkers with positive results, we saw no indication of an increase in cases,” said Avery Cohen, deputy press secretary for Blasio , to Fox News. Although cases in Los Angeles, Seattle and Miami-Dade are on the rise, cases in New York City have steadily declined, although it remains unclear whether potentially asymptomatic cases among most young people are undetected.
Last month, the city received criticism for its decision not to ask people if they participated in Black Lives Matter protests during contact tracking calls to monitor the spread of the coronavirus.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, however, told New Yorkers last month: “If you have been to a protest, give it a try, please.”
© 2019 National Review. Published with permission. Original in English.