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COVID-19: Expect New Virus Outbreaks Due To Nationwide Protests, Surgeon General Says

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

One of the nation’s top health officials is cautioning that there are likely to be new outbreaks of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as groups congregate during protests over the death of George Floyd.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said this week that although many have been wearing face coverings during protests, the thousands of people gathering in close proximity over the last few days protesting Floyd's death is likely to lead to a spike in cases.

"I remain concerned about the public health consequences both of individual and institutional racism (and) people out protesting in a way that is harmful to themselves and to their communities," Adams told Politico in an interview published Monday.

"Based on the way the disease spreads, there is every reason to expect that we will see new clusters and potentially new outbreaks moving forward.”

Adams said that he “understands the anger,” but hopes that protesters should channel that anger into “meaningful steps forward” for both racial reform and to help curb the spread of the virus.

“There is going to be a lot to do after this, even to try and get the communities of color back to where they need to be for people to be able to recover from COVID and for people to be able to recover from the shutdown and to be able to prosper.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the country is currently seeing “multiple crises colliding,” which has exacerbated the stress on all levels.

“We have the COVID crisis still going on, but now we have this new crisis,” he said on Tuesday, June 2. “We’re trying to deal with these two situations, which is very difficult while we’re in the middle of this pandemic.

“The country is seeing a lot of racial division in a hyper-political environment, and the nation is more divided now more than it’s been in any time in my lifetime,” Cuomo added. “We need to take a step back and gain some perspective … If we want to solve these problems, we have to understand what we’re trying to solve.” 

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