America Engulfed by Outrage and Sorrow

Protesters gather where George Floyd died in police custody. Minneapolis, Minnesota. May 26, 2020. Image: Kerem Yucel/ AFP/Getty
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Protesters gather where George Floyd died in police custody. Minneapolis, Minnesota. May 26, 2020. Image: Kerem Yucel/ AFP/Getty

“Parallel plagues” of COVID-19 and police brutality—both taking an outsize toll on black Americans—have sparked outrage and grief across the US,  The New York Times Reports.

Some protesters, moved by the senseless death of George Floyd in police custody, donned bandanas or face masks to “guard against the coronavirus, as well as tear gas.”

But not all took precautions against COVID-19 as they converged in nearly 2 dozen US cities—including Minneapolis, where Floyd died—raising fears that the protests could fuel more outbreaks, according The Washington Post.

“If you were out protesting last night, you probably need to go get a COVID test this week,” Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta’s mayor, said. “There is still a pandemic in America that’s killing black and brown people at higher numbers.”

The AP reports that Los Angeles had to close COVID-19 testing centers amid the violence, and in Minneapolis some clinics that provide testing were damaged.

Experts hope that the fact many protesters wore masks and converged outdoors will mitigate the risks somewhat. But contact tracing is an even bigger issue, with crowds of strangers to try to track down.

Tracing also relies people giving honest answers to the authorities—and the trust that requires is in painfully short supply,

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