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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

BLM protests have not led to a spike in coronavirus cases: study

Shenita Binns speaks with a handheld microphone as demonstrators gather on Black Lives Matter Plaza during racial inequality protests near the White House in Washington

"Black Lives Matter protests haven’t seen coronavirus cases surge in cities since the massive demonstrations began, a study says.

The new research, which was published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, found no evidence that coronavirus cases jumped in 315 cities in the weeks following the first protests.

Researchers determined that protests may have been offset by an increase in social distancing among those who decided not to march.

Using cellphone data, the study determined that more people opted to stay home “perhaps due to fear of violence from police clashes or general unrest.”

“While it is almost certain that the protests caused a decrease in social distancing behavior among protest attendees, we demonstrate that effect of the protests on the social distancing behavior of the entire population residing in counties with large urban protests was positive,” the report reads.

Researchers said they observed no jump in cases in the more than three weeks after the first protests, possibly due to a “net effect.”

“While it is possible that the protests caused an increase in the spread of COVID-19 among those who attended the protests, we demonstrate that the protests had little effect on the spread of COVID-19 for the entire population of the counties with protests during the more than three weeks following protest onset,” researchers said."

BLM protests have not led to a spike in coronavirus cases: study

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