Several big-city mayors and top officials are acknowledging that weeks of anti-police protests and riots may have contributed to surging coronavirus rates, weeks after Democrats and even some epidemiologists openly encouraged Black Lives Matter allies to demonstrate in the streets.
In public statements and interviews with Fox News this weekend, officials in Los Angeles, Seattle and Miami-Dade County, Fla., have indicated that some link between protests and new cases was at least possible. Still, many officials declined to comment when contacted by Fox News this weekend, and others – including New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office – disputed that the protests had caused any issue.
“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,” Avery Cohen, de Blasio’s deputy press secretary, told Fox News.
WNBC reported on July 4 that “over the course of a week, New York’s daily death toll has stayed constant, but its percentage of positive coronavirus cases rose four days straight.” New York City, though, has seen cases steadily decreasing over the last few months, while Los Angeles, Seattle and Miami have seen recent spikes.
Responding to that report, Cohen asserted that the number of New Yorkers testing positive “remains at a steady 2 percent, far below the nationwide average,” and that, “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’s public Twitter feed explicitly praised the Black Lives Matter movement and encouraged mass protests. One June 28 post retweeted by Cohen read: “Are you ready to flood the streets to fight for Black lives and against police brutality and reclaim our roots of pride? Join us today at 1 PM at FOLEY SQUARE.” – READ MORE
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