The U.S. has seen an uptick in new coronavirus cases over the last few days, according to Johns Hopkins University. After averaging about 18,600 daily cases in the first part of last week, the average increased to 22,500 cases from Thursday through Monday.
That increase comes as mass protests are being held across the country, and one week after many gathered for Memorial Day celebrations.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said that he expects to see even more COVID-19 outbreaks among the massive crowds of protesters fighting for justice. Adams added that "based on the way the disease spreads, there is every reason to expect that we will see new clusters and potentially new outbreaks moving forward," despite the majority of protesters wearing face masks.
“I remain concerned about the public health consequences both of individual and institutional racism [and] people out protesting in a way that is harmful to themselves and to their communities,” he told Politico.
Despite the risk of the coronavirus, Adams says he understands the "anger" fueling the protests and that he's equally concerned with "the public health consequences both of individual and institutional racism."
"You understand the anger, you hope that we can find ways that really can help people channel their anger into meaningful steps forward,” Adams continued. “There is going to be a lot to do after this, even to try and get the communities of color back to where they need to be for people to be able to recover from COVID, and for people to be able to recover from the shutdown and to be able to prosper.”
Read the full report on The Hill.