On 3 February, COVID-19 had been detected in the U.S., but it hadn’t yet begun to spread rapidly. The same day, an article appeared on the website STAT that proved prescient:

“To fight coronavirus spread, the U.S. may expand ‘social distancing’ measures. But it comes at a cost.”

The article pointed out: “If the U.S., which has 11 cases so far, begins to see sustained human-to-human transmission, health officials may also have to rapidly step up their own use of ‘social distancing’ measures to prevent further spread.”

Included was a comment from Nicholas Evans, a bioethicist at the University of Massachusetts, which directly spoke to the “cost” mentioned in the headline:

“We could look at another major recession if people overreact to this outbreak, and that’ll hurt a lot more people in the long run than this disease might.”

By mid-March, social distancing was becoming a popular phrase from political leaders and the mainstream media, backed by many health officials.

On 14 March, UC San Francisco epidemiologist Dr. Jeff Martin stated, “‘Social distancing’ will be the key phrase in the days and weeks to come.”

But now, those who insisted on social distancing are surprised that given the large protest gatherings over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and cities across the country, where huge numbers of people broke social distancing protocols, there is no evidence the activity increased the spread of the virus.

Ted Long, the Executive Director of New York City’s fledgling Test and Trace Corps contact tracing program, said on 2 July, “We’ve been looking very closely at the number of positive cases every day to see if there is an uptick in the context of the protests. We have not seen that.”

In Minnesota, site of some of the earliest and largest protests, testing revealed only 1.5 percent of demonstrators tested positive. In Massachusetts, it was less than 3 percent.

Some epidemiologists point to the discovery that being outdoors keeps one much safer from contracting the virus than being inside. According to a study in Japan, the chances of catching the virus is almost 20 percent greater in restricted, indoor settings.

A study from China revealed that out of thousands of cases analyzed, only one case of outdoor transmission was identified.

Yet, despite clear data that the large, outdoor demonstrations with the breaking of social distance orders did not create a health issue, some authorities chose to not believe the truth. Dr. Howard Markel, a physician and historian of medicine at the University of Michigan, commenting on the lack of virus spreading at demonstrations, claimed those who participated were “just incredibly lucky.”

The fact remains that in NYC and across the nation, the number of COVID-19 cases reported has declined since the massive protests took place.  According to the New York City Health Department, the day before the protestors gathered marked the last time more than 700 cases were reported.

That number dropped to about 500 the week after the demonstrations, then declined even more the following week.

In addition to NYC and Minneapolis, based on data collected across the country, only one of the many cities of protests has seen a rise in coronavirus reports.

But the clear data hasn’t stopped some politicians from spewing their own unsubstantiated evaluations. Last week, House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy claimed protesters had increased the spread: “When I looked at that drone view of [Los Angeles], where it was almost a mile-long shoulder-to-shoulder of people, and they’re expressing, they’re vocal… and now we’re finding that’s the easiest way to transmit to one another, the long periods of time next to one another.”

TRENDPOST: In obvious hypocrisy, politicians across the nation, from mayors to governors, who issued strict social distancing and mask wearing orders, and capacity limitations on society, not only permit Black Lives Matter demonstrations and others while locking down the economy, they even march shoulder to shoulder in them.

Comments are closed.

Skip to content