New York City has not reported an increase in Covid-19 cases, and many people worry that this is due to large-scale protests against police brutality over the weeks.
In June, the city’s daily Covid-19 indicators (cases, hospitalizations and deaths) had steadily dropped to the level of early March, when the city had not been shut down because the first wave of deaths exceeded 22,000.
According to data from the city’s health department, New York City reported fewer than 350 new cases every day last week, compared with 6,377 new cases when it peaked on April 6.
Dr. Peter Hong, a professor of medicine and an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, said: “It has been more than two weeks since the peak of the protests, and the incubation period of the virus is usually seven days.” “I am very excited, none of these fears Realize.”
Protesters believe that if the community spreads, it may be due to the actions of the police. For example, officials of the New York Police Department did not wear masks, arrested, pushed and beat the protesters.
Public health officials say that with the increase in protests in early June, the threat of systematic racism to public health is far greater than the protests against it.
During the national protests and the coronavirus pandemic, the American Public Health Association regarded racism as a public health crisis, which had severely injured or killed blacks and brown New Yorkers, and caused excessive vigilance in these communities.
Dr. George Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said: “I understand that I drive black when driving, and the risk of driving black is very high.” “I believe people make risk-based decisions by participating in protests.”
Late on Tuesday night, the city’s health department quietly released a report showing that the number of deaths in police hands was more than double the number reported before 2010-2015-the vast majority of unarmed people killed by police officers were black and Latino.
Unlike the first wave of Covid-19 in New York, residents stayed indoors for several months, usually wearing masks, and practicing better hand hygiene and social distance when going out. The method touted by the municipal health department On how to protest safely.
The doctor said the protests were also held outdoors, which limited the risks. Some people added that the police response may be more likely to spread the virus than the protest itself.
“I am very worried [police] The use of measures like tear gas may be a way to enhance communication,” said Howard Ke, a Harvard professor. Chen School of Public Health and former senior public health official of the Obama Administration.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said last month that he hopes “everyone realizes that when people come together, it is an inherent danger in the context of this pandemic.”
On Wednesday, he praised the protesters for wearing masks and said that the “real focus” should be placed on the first stage of the reopening, rather than demonstrations.
“Therefore, of course, we are looking for the impact of the protest, but for our overall health dynamics, what will be the impact of the first phase?” he told reporters. “As you can see from today’s indicators, it is not bad until this hour. We will never get out of trouble, but what we have seen so far is encouraging.”