As the public gatherings have increased in the U.S. this week after the news came out about the killing of George Floyd, the growing civil unrest and protest movements are raising the possibility of a second wave of Coronavirus outbreak, warned city and state officials on Sunday.
Along with Minnesota, in multiple stated authorities have been noticing thousands of people gathering to protest following the death of the African American Floyd, who died after a white police officer, Derek Chauvin, put his knee on his neck while arresting him in Minneapolis.
As per Associated Press, almost 1,400 protesters were arrested from several parts of the country, amid concerns some people are attending the movements not to demonstrate but to fuel violent actions. Reports also revealed that to control the protesters the police are using tear gas and rubber bullets against the crowds.
Second Coronavirus Wave in U.S.?
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms recently stated that "If you were out protesting last night, you probably need to go get a COVID test this week. There is still a pandemic in America that's killing black and brown people at higher numbers."
In Minneapolis, where Floyd used to live and was brutally killed by police officers during daylight, the protests movements first emerged in Minnesota city near to the scene of Floyd's arrest. Local authorities earlier warned that the gathering could prompt further COVID-19 cases.
The Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey recently said that "This is about violence, and we need to make sure that it stops. We're in the middle of a pandemic right now. We have two crises that are sandwiched on top of one another."
Minnesota Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm told reporters earlier this week that it has been noticed that a lot of people coming in from across the state and around the country and gathering in large groups which "almost sure to have an impact on furthering spread."
She added that as it is a known fact that large gatherings pose threat to the epidemic, "but certainly where we stand today with the state of COVID-19 spread in our community." Malcolm also mentioned that "Knowing that we have community spread, we just want to again encourage folks who gather to be mindful of the risk."
As per a statement, released by the Minnesota Health Department, Malcolm asked people to take steps to limit the risk of novel Coronavirus spread. She further mentioned that "This is essential not only to protect themselves but also to protect their loved ones and the larger community. This includes wearing masks when in public and maintaining social distancing as much as possible."
U.S. is Dealing With Racism as Well as Another Invisible Enemy
It should be noted that the death toll in Minnesota, linked to SARS-CoV-2, topped 1,000, while the tally of confirmed cases hit 21,490 in the state. The Governor of the hard-hit state New York, Andrew Cuomo also raised concern over the potential spread due to the protest movements, while mentioning that some of the protesters were seen without masks.
While clarifying his concerns, Cuomo mentioned that "You have a right to demonstrate, you have a right to protest," but "You don't have a right to infect other people. You don't have a right to act in a way that's going to jeopardize public health."
Meanwhile, America's top celebrities like Chrissy Teigen, Seth Rogan, and Mark Ruffalo revealed that they have donated money to bail out protesters arrested during a nationwide demonstration. Apart from these celebrities, at least 13 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden campaign staff members posted on Twitter on Friday and Saturday that they made donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which pays bail for those who would not be able to afford the bail amount.