Study: ‘No Evidence’ Black Lives Matter Protests Caused COVID-19 Resurgence

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Tens of thousands of people marching arm-in-arm, spending hours together in the streets did not cause a resurgence in COVID-19 cases according to a study on nationwide protests.

“Sparked by the killing of George Floyd in police custody, the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests have brought a new wave of attention to the issue of inequality within criminal justice. However, many public health officials have warned that mass protests could lead to a reduction in social distancing behavior, spurring a resurgence of COVID-19,” the study said.

“[W]e find no evidence that net COVID-19 case growth differentially rose following the onset of Black Lives Matter protests, and even modest evidence of a small longer-run case growth decline,” the study continued, the Daily Caller reports.

The study actually determined that the protests and marches forced more residents into their homes, increasing social distancing.

“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 said.

Here’s more, from the Daily Caller:

The rationale for this net increase in social-distancing behavior involved the perception that the mass protests could become violent and crime rates could spike, leading residents to stay indoors, according to the study.

The study examined 315 of the nation’s largest cities in a 30-day time span to estimate the effects of the onset of protests on positive cases of coronavirus. Even in cities where protests took place before May 28, only one–Phoenix–out of 13 experienced a rise in cases that could possibly be attributed to the protesters’ activity.

The increase in cases in Phoenix, however, followed shortly after Gov. Doug Ducey ended Arizona’s stay-at-home-order on May 15, causing many residents to ignore safety measures in public, the Associated Press reported.

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