Studies and new data have shown that the Black Lives Matter protests have not led to a spike in coronavirus cases. The National Bureau of Economic Research took data from the 300 largest cities in the United States and found no evidence that cases grew in the days and weeks following the start of the protests.
The research found that social distancing actually increased during the protests since people tried to avoid the protests entirely and stayed inside.
“Our findings suggest that any direct decrease in social distancing among the subset of the population participating in the protests is more than offset by increasing social distancing behavior among others who may choose to shelter-at-home and circumvent public places while the protests are underway,” the report reads.
The report acknowledges that spread among the protestors may have increased, but can’t say for sure. Dhaval Dave, an economics professor at Bentley University and one of the authors of the paper, said, “It’s certainly possible that there is probably a small increase in cases among the protesting population.” However, “when we look at the population of the counties as a net, there does not seem to have been significant community spread and no significant increase at all in overall cases at the population level.”
Officials from New York, Atlanta and Philadelphia also did not see increases linked to protests. “We’ve not seen any evidence that the number of new cases identified in Philadelphia is associated with any protest activities,” Philadelphia’s Department of Health said in a statement to NBC News. Minneapolis officials said that 1% of 10,000 protestors had tested positive for the coronavirus, in Seattle less than 1% of 3,000 protestors tested positive.
Read all our coverage on the protests against racism in One Green Planet:
- #BlackLivesMatter: 10 Inspiring Black Voices Diversifying the Environmental Movement
- #BlackLivesMatter: Fauci Says Black Community is Facing a “Double Whammy” During Coronavirus
- #BlackLivesMatter: Victory! NY Repeals 50-A Requiring Full Disclosure of Police Misconduct
- #BlackLivesMatter: Louisville Bans “No-Knock” Raids After Breonna Taylor Was Killed
- #BlackLivesMatter: Killing Black Americans is a Public Health and Human Rights Crisis
- Petition: Justice for Breonna Taylor, Black Woman Killed by Police in her Own Home
Here’s what you can do:
Also, remember to register to vote if you haven’t already. This is one of the simplest ways to make your voice heard as a citizen.Here are some resources for you:
Places to donate:
- Donate to Black Lives Matter here.
- Get involved with your local BLM chapter: The full list is here or start your own.
- Many protestors are getting arrested and being held. Donate to bail funds in your city, here or here.
- HBCUBuzz has a listing of lawyers and legal resources for protestors, organized by state.
- Resources and donations by the National Police Accountability Project.
- Learn about Campaign Zero, which works to end police violence in America.
- The New York Times has put together an anti-racist reading list.
- National Black Bailout Fund, which works towards ending systems of mass incarceration and freeing imprisoned black mothers.
- Visit Louisville Community Bail Fund to contribute towards bail for protesters in Louisville.
Petitions to Sign:
- Justice for George Floyd
- Petition to end medical racism
- Justice for Breonna Taylor
- Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
- Justice for Tony McDade, Black trans man killed by police
- Sign the “Justice for George Floyd” petition on Change.org
- Color of Change launched a petition asking that all the officers involved in Floyd’s death are brought to justice.
For a more extensive resource list, please see the collection put together by Black Lives Matter.
Through this grief and anger, we must unite and work together to create the change we want to see. Let’s make sure no black child has to ever say these heartbreaking words ever again.
If you’re attending a protest, please be safe and careful and maintain social distancing, if possible.