LA Times baffled by COVID spike two weeks after Floyd protests
We learned not long ago, per an open letter signed by nearly 1,300 public health officials, that fighting racism was more important than avoiding COVID-19, so it was acceptable for teeming masses of people to take to the streets to protest — or in some cases, riot.
The outcome was expected. And it was telling about the potential blowback when New York City told its newly hired contact tracers to not “proactively” ask about participation in demonstrations related to the death of George Floyd, the black Minneapolis man who died in police custody on Memorial Day.
Now, the Los Angeles Times seems baffled why coronavirus-positive numbers are up in California, which the national media is largely ignoring in reporting on COVID-19 spikes around the country.
“California’s slide from coronavirus success to danger zone began Memorial Day,” the paper tweeted on Monday. “A Times analysis found that new COVID-19 hospitalizations in CA began accelerating around June 15 at a rate not seen since early April. That means more people may have gotten exposed to the virus around the week of Memorial Day or shortly thereafter.”
The Times added that Memorial Day “appears to have been the turning point that pushed California into the coronavirus surge it’s seeing now.”
Well, like those NYC contact tracers, let’s not ponder the obvious.
Wikipedia may not always be the most reliable of sources. Yet the entry for “George Floyd protests in California” contains a long list — with nearly 300 citations — of Floyd-related protests and rumbles occurring throughout the state.
Those events involved crowds ranging from dozens to thousands of demonstrators taking to the streets to protest police brutality.
And the overwhelming number of them occurred between May 30 and June 3 — which, of course, aligns with the estimated two-week time frame for COVID-19 to appear.
In some reports, local media bought the claim that the protests were not to blame. Around San Francisco, KQED reported on June 25 that health officials had not seen a surge locally because of the Floyd protests. But deep down in its post, the station reported, “San Francisco does not have data related to protesters who have tested positive because the testing sites are not asking people if they have recently participated in demonstrations.”
The Times’s report brought some well-earned skepticism.
“Gee, I wonder what happened ‘…shortly thereafter’?!!” journalist John Ziegler tweeted. “What a bunch of absolute hacks you people are!”
Another Twitter user posted, “nicely done! to all the people that went out to protest in the middle of a pandemic [sic], now we’re all at risk because you are so woke, well done.”
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