Dr. Fauci: Floyd Protests 'Perfect Recipe’ For Coronavirus Comeback
COVID-19 could return due to demonstrations across US
As the recent protests following the death of George Floyd continue to sweep across America, the coronavirus has all but disappeared from the news cycle.
But according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, that could all change if new surges in coronavirus case make a comeback due tp lack of social distancing at demonstrations.
"It is the perfect set-up for the spread of the virus in the sense of creating some blips which might turn into some surges,” Fauci told radio station WTOP-FM in Washington, D.C.
The United States has moved closer to 2 million confirmed infections and 110,000 virus-related deaths in recent weeks.
According to Johns Hopkins University, globally, there have been 7 million infections and 400,000 deaths since the epidemic began.
But after months of state governors stay-at-home orders, the protests saw thousands take to the street after the death of Floyd who died in police custody.
“As I sat in front of the TV and watched the screen go from Washington, D.C., to New York City, to Los Angeles, to Philadelphia, I got really concerned,” Fauci told the Sunday Times of London.
“I was going, ‘Oh my goodness. I hope this doesn’t set us back a lot.’ [After] all of the work in trying to maintain the physical distance and doing all the things, I became very concerned that we might see a resurgence."
The protests have notably brought people from different states, most notably Antifa.
WATCH: Massive turnout in Philadelphia for George Floyd protests— Neon Nettle (@NeonNettle) June 6, 2020
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"Chanting and yelling, as people typically do during protests, also increases the risk of spread," he said.
“I get very concerned, as do my colleagues in public health, when they see these kinds of crowds,” Fauci said.
“There certainly is a risk. I can say that with confidence.”
"The only thing public health officials can do is constantly remind people to be careful and always wear a mask," Fauci said.
Meanwhile, officials have urged protesters to get tested for COVID-19.
"It's a difficult situation. We have the right to peacefully demonstrate, and the demonstrators are exercising that right,” Fauci added.
“It's a delicate balance because the reasons for demonstrating are valid, and yet the demonstration itself puts oneself at an additional risk."