Public Health Experts Write Open Letter Supporting Protests: 'White Supremacy...Contributes to COVID-19'

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Posted: Jun 03, 2020 7:39 AM
Public Health Experts Write Open Letter Supporting Protests: 'White Supremacy...Contributes to COVID-19'

Source: AP Photo/Kevin Hagen

Americans gave up so many liberties this spring all in the name of flattening the curve and slowing the spread of the deadly coronavirus—and in a matter of days, social distancing has gone out the window as people have gathered in all 50 states to protest the death of George Floyd in police custody. City and state leaders who so recently condoned the ticketing of people taking leisurely drives or arresting of lone paddleboarders appear to have no problem whatsoever with thousands gathering in the streets, in some cases marching arm in arm, hugging, and shaking hands—you know, all the things that Anthony Fauci once said we should never do again.

So you may be surprised to see that dozens of public health experts signed an open letter supporting the protests.

"White supremacy is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to COVID-19," the letter said, according to NPR. 

The letter was started by infectious disease experts at the University of Washington, the same university whose models the government had been using to inform policymaking that proved to be wrong over and over again. 

Initially written by infectious disease experts at the University of Washington, the letter cited a number of systemic problems, from the disproportionately high rate at which black people have been killed by police in the U.S. to disparities in life expectancy and other vital categories — including black Americans' higher death rate from the coronavirus. [...]

Local governments should not break up crowded demonstrations "under the guise of maintaining public health," the experts said in their open letter. They urged law enforcement agencies not to use tear gas, smoke and other irritants, saying they could make people more susceptible to infection and worsen existing health conditions. (NPR)

The public health experts noted the "potential for COVID-19 cases to rise in the days to come," according to NPR, and suggested access to testing and care in these communities is increased. But by all means, keep "protesting" it seems.