(PoliticalLookout.com)- Officials in a few cities across the country are admitting that anti-police demonstrations that occurred after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis might have contributed to the extreme rise in coronavirus rates.
Fox News interviews and public statements from officials in Seattle, Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Los Angeles have all said there is probably at least some link between the protests and the recent spike in coronavirus cases.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti recently spoke to this, saying he talked with Dr. Barbara Ferrer, the Los Angeles County public health director. Of that discussion, he said:
“I talked again with Dr. Ferrer about that this morning. She does think some of the spread did some from our protests. It’s not the act of protesting — that’s a great and American thing to do no matter what your opinion is … but protesting without maintaining physical distancing, without wearing your mask, without having sanitizer — we just have to be smart. Whether you’re at a protest or at your home, whether in your workplace or whether you’re out shopping, these rules don’t change.”
The mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos A. Gimenez, has similar thoughts. A spokesperson for the mayor recently told Fox News that the protests were a “contributing factor” to the recent spike in coronavirus cases the area was experiencing.
The spokesperson, Patty Abril, said the mayor “meets several times a week with his team of medical experts. Those experts have told him that, based on information in our local emergency rooms, the protests were a contributing factor, along with our community letting its guard down and not social distancing or wearing masks, as mandated. Graduation parties, house parties and restaurants illegally turning into clubs after midnight all contributed to the spike.”
Despite these admissions, leaders in other cities are denying that the protests had any effect on the surge in coronavirus cases. In New York City, for example, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s deputy press secretary, Avery Cohen, said:
“Based on our health indicators, which measure hospital admissions, number of people in ICU and percentage of New Yorkers testing positive, we have seen no indication of an uptick in cases.”
While there hasn’t been a surge in New York City like there has been in other parts of the country, the percentage of positive coronavirus cases increased for four days in a row last week. Despite that, Cohen said the rate “remains at a steady 2%, far below the nationwide average. At this time, we do not believe there has been a resurgence in cases related to the protests, which reached their peak over a month ago.”
Cohen, like other New York City officials, has been an outspoken supporter of the mass protests, even as the city and state have banned large public gatherings in other forms, such as for religious services. On June 28, Cohen’s public Twitter feed retweeted a message that read:
“Are you ready to flood the streets to flight for Black lives and against police brutality and reclaim our roots of pride? Join us today at 1 PM at FOLEY SQUARE.”