News & Politics

How the Riots Crushed Coronavirus Testing

A protester carries the carries a U.S. flag upside, a sign of distress, next to a burning building Thursday, May 28, 2020, in Minneapolis. Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

It may be a while before Americans can assess the full impact of the savage radical anarchist, Black Lives Matter, and antifa riots of 2020, initially sparked by the police killing George Floyd.

The losses to property will almost certainly run into the hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars. Entire buildings were torched.

Millions of dollars worth of items were stolen or destroyed by looters—from air fryers from Target to the glamorous Louis Vuitton, all by the “grieving” protesters.

The impact on bystanders, riot-related heart attacks, demoralized business owners whose livelihoods and dreams were crushed, stress-induced psychological disorders and anger have yet to be tallied, but it will be great – especially since it followed the Wuhan coronavirus lockdowns.

We know at least five police officers have been murdered by rioters. Several hundred more officers have been assaulted, shot or run over by rioters.

But here’s one thing we may not know for a while yet: how many rioters and protesters at these mass gatherings spread the Wuhan virus around.

The Riots and the Wuhan

Looters and arsonists burned down as many as 70 testing centers, according to a report in The Daily Beast.

In a leaked audio recording of a conference call with the nation’s governors, which is an altogether different story, President Trump’s coronavirus scarf maven, Dr. Deborarh Birx, is heard saying that 70 testing centers were burned down by arsonists during the riots.

Speaking via conference call, a recording of which The Daily Beast obtained, Deborah Birx, Trump’s coronavirus response coordinator, relayed fears that the yelling by protesters could potentially negate the health benefits of wearing a mask, and that the destruction of testing sites at those protests would set back efforts to contain the virus’ spread. Birx said 70 such sites had been destroyed, which had already resulted in an appreciable drop in testing rates there. She advised governors to “scramble now to make sure there is testing available in urban areas.” [emphasis added]

Riots also forced the shutdown of dozens of testing centers in Los Angeles.

Riots Crush Coronavirus Testing in LA

Mayor Eric Garcetti shut down all of LA’s 19 testing centers for a short time because he feared rioters and so-called “peaceful” protesters would destroy them if they were open.

Garcetti couldn’t just say he was afraid of looting and rioting. He had to say something about minorities being impacted, these being George Floyd riots and protests, after all. However, behold his pretzel logic.

We need to make sure, especially in communities that have less power, that we are able to make sure people don’t disproportionately die because of the color of their skin. We can’t do that when the city breaks down.

Translation: testing centers may get looted and burned down by rioters and that looting and arson will have a disproportionate effect on minorities because they have a higher propensity for the virus and they’re powerless, yet many are powerful enough to loot and burn stuff. Or something.

There are 36 testing centers county-wide, including one at Dodger Stadium.

Hey, Hey, Ho, Ho, Coronavirus Testing Has Got to Go!

Dr. Birx also told governors that the chanting, screaming, and singing of the protesters could negate the effects of wearing masks during the riots.

In a separate call with governors and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on June 3, Birx said protests would likely lead to a spike in infections.

“This could result in a fight over the next two weeks,” she said, according to audio of that meeting, also leaked to The Daily Beast.

And it could get even worse according to The Daily Beast.

“This could result in a fight over the next two weeks,” she said. On the call five days later, Birx added her fears that as the protests had grown more peaceful, more people from higher-risk populations began attending them. For good measure, she told governors to also make sure that law enforcement officials who worked the protests without masks get tested as well, calling it “absolutely critical.”

According to Geekwire, there has been no spike in coronavirus cases … so far.

It’s still early to gauge the full effect of large-scale protests on the coronavirus pandemic. After exposure to the virus, it can take as long as two or three weeks for COVID-19 cases to show up in the statistics, epidemiologists say.

UW Medicine’s Virology Lab reported that it had its biggest day for COVID-19 testing on Thursday, and found that 2.3% of the 4,536 PCR tests came back positive.

With some testing centers shut down and others destroyed, added to the lagging numbers from protesters, we may never know the full extent to which the ‘rona was shared during the riots because there will less testing for awhile.

But that won’t stop Democrats from urging President Trump to avoid holding rallies again.  

 

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