Concerns Mount About Pandemic’s Impact On Black Communities

Doctors and elected officials have voiced concerns about a spike in COVID-19 cases with Black Lives Matter protests consuming over 350 American cities in the last week.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Cassandra Pierre said protest “needs to happen…we need to give voice to the sense of powerlessness, the sense of disenfranchisement. We need government to understand what is happening to us.

But she is also concerned about “people gathering close together, sometimes wearing masks, sometimes not. And the reality of a protest is that… It is a risk for COVID-19. It is a risk that is impacting the same communities, unfortunately, that are disproportionately being affected, as we know, by COVID-19.”

And Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms isextremely concerned when we’re seeing mass gatherings. We know what’s happening in our community with this virus.”

Some of the cities with the most prominent protests have seen their day-over-day percent increase in cases steadily declining, reaching close to 0% the past couple of days. On June 2nd, none of these cities had a higher than 3% increase in cases from the previous day, with all but Houston and Chicago (2.87% and 1.50% increases respectively) under 1% increases from the previous day.

Time will tell how the protests and summer weather could impact these trendlines.